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Full text of "Wordeater"

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WQRDFATFR 7Q STAFF 

sue cnerven, bob loewe, maria mellinger, nels nelson, jonn stobart, david I. sullivan, Kim vollmer 



[n order to get a selection published in this issue, four of the above had to vote for acceptance. For the award winners, only John 

Stobart is responsible. 



Manuscripts or cover designs for 

wordecater /I 

must be submitted to John 
Stobart in room C-1069 by: 

February 23, 1990 

Manuscripts will not be returned 
and should by typed. 






AWARDS 

POETRY 

$10 to Sherry Gunderman 

PROSE 

$10 to Sherry Gunderman 
$10 to Norma Dodge 
$ 5 to Rich Goberville 

COVERS 

$20 to Kim Vollmer 



Next Deadlines: 

February 23, 1990 
April 12, 1990 




All copyrights are retained by the authors, and materials may not be reprinted without their permission. 









Joseph M. Nahas 


Intro... 


10 








Rich Goberville 


Questions 


10 








Maria Mellinger 


Just As An Enemy 


10 








Dawn Simmons 


What If...? 


10 


ffc#®##@f& 


$@3&#®l&$@ 


f& 


Rich Goberville 


What To Say 


10 








J. Ardith Cox 


They Tell Me 


11 


TABLE OF CONTENTS 


Kim Vollmer 


Know Of Me 


11 


^#@*#@ 


*#©*#©* 


$ 


Clariece Henne 
Nels Nelson 


Fears 
Hey, God 


11 

12 








JudyBelfield 


Showdown 


13 








Nels Nelson 


For An Old Soul 


13 








Mike Carter 


Evildoer 


13 


Dawn Simmons 


Window Watching 


i 


Sherry Gunderman 


Fate 


14 


J. Ardith Cox 


Headlines 


i 


Sherry Gunderman 


Surrealism 


14 


J. Ardith Cox 


Home-I-Cide 


i 


Maria Mellinger 


You Can Get Another 


15 


ShondaTalerico 


Obsession 


i 


Paul Pritchett 


Zen French Fry 


15 


Paul Pritchett 


Experiment 538-4 A 


2 


Maria Mellinger 


A Sweet Silence 


15 


Nels Nelson 


From Documentary 


2 


ShondaTalerico 


God, I'm Starving 


15 


Sherry Gunderman 


Imagery 


2 


Sherry Gunderman 


The Cafeteria 


16 


Sherry Gunderman 


Nineteen-Eighty-Six 


2 


Maria Mellinger 


In A Most Dirty 


16 


Norma Dodge 


Grossly Euphemistic 


2 


Sherry Gunderman 


Meeting With the Stranger 


16 


Sherry Gunderman 


The Paperback 


3 


Kim Vollmer 


No Strings 


16 


Maria Mellinger 


My Sarcastic Summer 


3 


Sherry Gunderman 


Adolescence 


17 


Sherry Gunderman 


April 


3 


Nels Nelson 


Whooohoohoooo 


17 


Dawn Simmons 


When Autumn Passed 


3 


Sherry Gunderman 


The Stranger 


17 


JudyBelfield 


The First of October 


4 


Peace 


Front Desk 


17 


Maria Mellinger 


Making Wishes 


4 


Maria Mellinger 


The Best Laid Plans 


18 


Joseph M. Nahas 


Merry Christmas 


4 


Jacque Klika 


Replay 


18 


JudyBelfield 


Birthday 


4 


Maria Mellinger 


We've Rubber Cemented 


18 


Jacque Klika 


Before the Dawn 


5 


Nels Nelson 


Dancing In Blue, Playing 




JacqueLkika 


After the Tide Goes Out 


5 




To Yellow 


18 


J. Ardith Cox 


Exhausted 


5 


Sherry Gunderman 


My Heart Can't Tell You 




JudyBelfield 


Becoming Old 


6 




No 


18 


Dawn Simmons 


An End 


6 


JudyBelfield 


Sport 


19 


ShondaTalerico 


The Past 


6 


Sherry Gunderman 


The Date 


19 


Judy Belfield 


Dog Day 


7 


Norma Dodge 


A Love Story 


21 


Rich Goberville 


The Rabbits on My 




Rich Goberville 


Why I Write About Love 


21 




Shelf 


7 


Rich Goberville 


Security 


21 


Norma Dodge 


The Life and Loves of a 




Sherry Gunderman 


Three Year Anniversary 


22 




Yuppie 


8 


MelyndaFindlay 


A New Car 


22 


Dawn Simmons 


Beaches 


8 


David L. Sullivan Jr. 


Soweto Road: A Story 




Sherry Gunderman 


Rotorelief 


8 




of the American 




Nels Nelson 


Uneducable 


9 




Near Future 


23 


Maria Mellinger 


While He Remained 




Kim Vollmer 


California 


24 




Limited 


9 


Nels Nelson 


Colombia 


25 


Joseph M. Nahas 


Cowboy Bob 


9 


Kim Vollmer 


Captain America Shoes 


25 


Rich Goberville 


Friends 


9 


ShondaTalerico 


The China Doll 


26 


J. Ardith Cox 


Silence 


9 









Dawn Simmons 
WINDOW WATCHING 



Snowflakes gathered 

to dance on my windowsill. 

They waited 

but heard no applause. 

axax ra 

J. Ardith Cox 

HEADLINES 

"Three- Year-Old Boy trapped in Apartment Blaze" 

"Hurricane Claims 250 Carolina Residents" 

"Quake Rattles California; 75+ Death Toll" 

-These lives were taken away.-- 

'Two Teen Found Dead: Carbon Monoxide Responsible" 

"Hollywood Star Loses Life To AIDS Virus" 

"U. S. Abortions Reach All-Time High In '87" 

-These lives were given away.~ 

J. Ardith Cox 

HOME-I-CIDE 

A man 

takes the life of a human being. 
Now he 

eats full meals twice a day... 
sleeps in a warm bed every night... 
wears clean clothing... 

and lives behind bars. 

Another 

loses his job to modern technology. 
Now he 

eats rubbish out of garbage cans... 
sleeps on yesterday's news... 
wears discarded clothing... 

and lives in a cardboard box. 

-Prisons are like mansions to the homeless.- 



ShondaTalerico 

OBSESSION 

Leaves jumping from the trees 

In their autumn suicide. 

I won't waste another minute crying. 

But the lights are going out. 
I start again. 

You are gone, 

I can't let you go 

I want to hold you in this darkness. 

It was only late last night 
I knew we were through 
When I began to know 
That you believed it, too. 

I say I don't love you, 
But I'm watching the past 
Play in my mind 
Like a lonely album 
Repeating the groove. 

Was it love? 

Preserving you by my side, 
I dust off the glass shards 
Appearing when I smashed you 
Against the wall, 
I hold your copy close to my heart. 

Laughing to myself, 

I will make this spell last forever, 

In the bed of my life, 
We've got all night. 

. When I think about it all 
As I spin the loaded chamber. 

cixxamm 



rnxrrra 



Paul Pritchett 

EXPERIMENT 538-4A 

This is a story. The story begins by introducing the 
main characters. The characters engage in some 
humorous, romantic, sad, melancholy, angry, passionate, 
sexual, tiresome, boring, crazy, and monotonous times. 
I introduce another character who tries to stop them. 
He/she/they fail. The characters grow old and die 

caoaocaa 

Nels Nelson 

FROM DOCUMENTARY 

The old womenmen took their laundry out to the stones, 

The holy stones by the river, 

As some red-grey cold slimed in and set itself down 

In everyone's head, 

Every one's head. 

They all smiled, how pure they looked. 

They exorcised demons from pants and shirts, 

Beating them on the rocks. 

Spare the rod and spoil... 

Cleanliness is next to... 

What is so wonderful about being next to? 

Now let me set something straight for myself, excuse 

me, 

It'll take a second. 

Man created God in his image? 

Oh bother, we do worship in peculiar ways, 

Maybe I need a nap. 

I want to beat up my clothes clean, 

I'm not kidding now, something is missing, 

God is not in our washing machine. 

1 1 x x mm 
Sherry Gunderman 



IMAGERY 



Blueprints 
of a mansion 
and teardrops 
of a grown child 
Show a world 
of love and hate 
joy and sorrow 
for what it truly is. 



Sherry Gunderman 

NINETEEN-EIGHTY-SIX 

The moon 

chased us 

as our car passed cornfields 

and farmhouses. 

We hid from the future 

and ignored the past 

Our juvenile sides surfaced 

and we played tag 

in the dusty arena 

of the stable. 

We scared each other 

with ghost stories 

that we had secretly exaggerated 

and laughed at our pretended fright. 

The music from our generation 

echoed from the car speakers 

as we waited for the heater to kick in 

and we carved a jack-o-lantern together, 

playing surgeon, 

and throwing orange intestines at each other. 

We whispered "goodnight" 

at your door 

and the wind blew our icy-white words 

away down the street. 

And my heart ached with supreme happiness 

at the fact that it HAD been a "Good Night," 

and that perfection wasn't reserved 

strictly for the Mature. 

q.xxxxra 

Norma Dodge 

GROSSLY EUPHEMISTIC 

To fart is to flatulate, 
To spit is to expectorate, 
To puke is to regurgitate, 
To belch is to eructate, 
To piss is to urinate, 
To shit is to defecate, 
To f is to copulate. 

Fart, spit, puke, shit, 
Piss and belch and f . 



The first six are only natural 
As for the last-good luck! 



i x x x x x x 13 



axaxro 



Sherry Gunderman 
THE PAPERBACK 

She went into the bookstore. He followed her at a 
safe distance-so much so that she didn't know she was 
being trailed. He stood by the magazines and watched 
her scan through the fiction. She went to the 
information desk, and he ducked behind the cards and 
figurines. He eavesdropped terribly. 

"Do you have A Room With A View by E. M. 
Forster?" she inquired of the clerk. 

"Did you..." and he began to motion with his arm. 

"No." she interrupted. "It wasn't in the fiction." 

"We don't have it then. I haven't seen it around since 
the movie. Do you want me to order it for you?" he 
asked politely while his eyebrows danced with 
expression. 

"No, thank you," she replied, and turned to leave. 
She hesitated to say goodbye to the kind salesperson. 

"Bye-bye now!" and the information man waved. 
She began to leave. He went to the information desk. 

" A Room With A View? " he questioned. His 
question was insensible, but was somehow translated by 
the man behind the desk. 

"It's a love story about an English couple at the turn 
of the centuy. It's wonderful. The movie's fantastic." 
And he walked away humming. 

He took a call card and wrote the title on it. Setting 
the pen that he used down, he turned to leave. She was 
standing in the doorway. She had heard everything and 
observed it all. He studied his shoes in brief 
embarrassment. She smiled a genuine smile meant for 
him alone, and disappeared into the bustle of the mall 
crowds. 

crxxxxxn 



Sherry Gunderman 
APRIL 



Yes. 

Maybe. 

Definitely 

not. 
Today. Tonight. 
Calculations. 
A green pen. 

Michigan State University. 
No. 

Old song. Old tune. 
Nonexistent. 

Are my paintings still in your room? 
Your face haunts me. 
Your memories tease me. 
He is more 

than you could dream to be. 
He 

is brilliant 
and witty. 

But not as funny. ..as you. 
Green pen. 
Red eyes. 
Yellow sun. 
Blue tears. 
Full--for memory. 

m xmxi 



Maria Mellinger 
MY SARCASTIC SUMMER 



Dawn Simmons 
WHEN AUTUMN PASSED 



My sarcastic summer 

1942 

Sleep was death's brother 

And I joined you, 

Draft-bait, 

In dreams. 



( i x x x x x v 



Before my steps 

could crunch the leaves 

the wind 

took them away. 

In my mind I knew 

they had to go; 

In my heart 

I wished they would stay. 



q.xxxxxn 



-3- 



Judy Belfield 

THE FIRST OF OCTOBER 

This day soft yellow 

slides through the blinds 

lengthwise 

gently oozes through the slats 

like a whispered prayer. 

A confession 

lies in my memory 

as silken as the morning's fingers. 

We are afraid 

of sudden moves— 

the sunlight and I. 

Remembering yesterdays 

pierced with shrieks 

in the darkness 

spattered with blood 

we glide carefully-- 

a slow-motion rippling of chiffon 

through time 

we've yet to know. 

Now soft, now yellow, 

words rest in the soul 

jaundiced with disease. 

trxxmnm 

Maria Mellinger 

MAKING WISHES 

Making wishes 

With small change- 

A well full of pennies 

And hopeless unneeded nickels— 

Somewhere, 

The tally is being kept, 

And maybe the millionth customer 

Will be satisfied. 

a xxx xxm 



Joseph M. Nahas 

MERRY CHRISTMAS 

Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas 
It's that lime of year. 
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas 
The kids are full of cheer. 
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas 
Here comes that fat ol' man. 
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas 
Ringing the bell in his mittened hand. 
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas 
He asked me for some dough. 
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas 
I kneed him down below. 

nx xx r rn 

Judy Belfield 

BIRTHDAY 

Sunlight bows low 

in a blaze 

and winks into purple black. 

Redheaded trees 

toss their October tresses 

in sudden whips of wind. 

My breath, suspended for a moment, 

returns with Melancholy, 

a lifelong companion 

which has been absent this time 

for what seemed would be 

forever. 

Inevitably, it comes back. 

Only last week I daydreamed 

what it might be like 

to take someone's breath away... 

there is no real connection here — 

my thoughts often slip 

from a word today 

to something yesterday cannot release. 

A choking sadness 

asks me to consider 

the beauty of this day 

and wonder who will not be here 

to see it again next year 

and why. 



nxxxxxn 



Jacque Klika 

BEFORE THE DAWN 

Strings of twinkling colored lights 

magically reflected the joy 
of robe clad children. 

Tiptoeing 
before the dawn 
they crept 
silently 
one 

Christmas morn. 

aax oxp 

Jacque Klika 

AFTER THE TIDE GOES OUT 

There was a time once, 

long ago, 

when I thought 

I knew you. 

We kicked off our shoes 

and walked through 

tide pools near the 

sea. And sometimes 

we'd venture to the 

shore and play tag 

with waves hitting 

the sandy beach. 

But always we were 

hand in hand. 

Together we faced the 

quiet peaceful times 

as well as the challenging 

moments that added spark. 

Always we found meaning 

in the times we shared and so now I wonder 

if our love was but an illusion 

...as the moon beams 

dancing 

over rippling waters, but 

then moving on. 

Will I have nothing left 

but memories...like shells left 

upon the shore after the tide goes out. 



J. Ardith Cox 
EXHAUSTED 

I'm tired of trying 

To catch the dreams I'll never get. 
I'm tired of crying 

About the goals not reached, but set. 

I'm tired of holding 

The bits of life I know must go. 
I'm tired of molding 

The perfect world I'll never know. 

I'm tired of waiting 

For paths to change and come my way. 
I'm tired of hating 

The shameful words I sometimes say. 

I'm tired of giving 

My heart to one who doesn't care. 
I'm tired of living 

A life where happy times are rare. 

I'm tired of walking 

Away from problems far and near. 
I'm tired of talking 

To people who will never hear. 

I'm tired of seeing 

The hurt and pain Man can't avoid. 
I'm tired of being 

A person whom this world's destroyed. 

I'm tired of choosing 

To show the feelings I should hide. 
I'm tired of losing 

The battles I have waged inside. 

I'm tired... 

I .I.X x.x.x EP 



-5- 



Judy Belfield 

BECOMING OLD 

The ripest, richest moments 

last as long as 

we are able to breathe 

their delicately fleeting scents; 

wisps of time 

aged to superlative edge 

razor sharp against our necks, 

the potential for life 

as intense 

as for annihilation. 

I have withstood such moments; 

knowing the danger, 

invited return 

and waited again 

and again. 

When the summer reeks 

of its prematurely dropped fruits 

(forgotten pears split open 

and rotting in the heat) 

I wince from the sharp pain 

of a terrible memory 

I cannot reconstruct 

and would not dare. 

axmxp 



ShondaTalerico 

THE PAST 

Concerts 

with Jack Daniels tucked away 

1976 Caprice Classic 

with stains on the back seats 

Narrow couches 
made for two 

Cherished love notes 
on tattered looseleaf 

Public displays of affection 
flirting in detentions 

Musical Christmas cards 
alley kats and nikki 

Pink Floyd 
the wall 

Majestic Pegasus 
satin sheets 



Dawn Simmons 



AN END 



Innocence was left untouched 

as a goodbye triggered 

the death 

of a dream just begun. 

I reached to touch your lips 

for the last time 

and watched 

as my reflection 

trickled down your cheek. 



Homecoming dances 
crumpled corsages 

Soft back rubs 

soiled handkerchiefs 

"What happened to it all?' 
I ask myself 

As I wake up next to 
last night's guy 



■JffcJ^dO>^^JL<t>J 



axaxEP 



-6- 



Judy Belfield 

DOG DAY 

Day stretches out like 

big old dog 

in August 

toothless, lop-eared, dusty, 

heavy with fur. 

Dog's lower jaw 

hangs slack 

saliva drooling. 

Eyes have a dumb look 

wet, palooka-like, 

appearing, disappearing 

under dull brown lids. 

After awhile 

secret entertainment begins. 

A far-off dream plays; 

dog twitches, switches its tail, 

yips, yaps, squeals 

then settles 

into a deathlike state 

wrapped up in 

thick smell. 

Stays that way for hours. 

mm.n.i 

Rich Goberville 

THE RABBITS ON MY SHELF 

When I got home from work one day I went straight 
to my room. I threw my jacket on my bed and lay down 
next to it. I wondered how customers could be so rude. 
Like it was my fault the store was out of everything that 
was on sale. My weary eyes ventured to my shelf above 
my bed, and I noticed a little white porcelain rabbit 
sitting there between my clock radio and my comb. It 
had never been up there before, so I wondered where it 
could have come from. It reminded me of the real rabbit 
I had when I was younger. I had this little leash 'for it, 
and sometimes I would take it out of its cage and walk it 
in my backyard. Though I wouldn't really call it 
"walking," my rabbit , because it just sat there and 
nibbled on the grass and enjoyed the fresh summer 
breeze. If it were lucky, it would find a clover patch and 
feast on all the little flowers. Then when it finally 
finished eating, it would come near my face and tickle 
me with its whiskers. Sometimes I thought that was 
actually the best part of my summer days-when I would 
just lay next to my rabbit and forget about everything 

-7- 



else. 

But where did this rabbit on my shelf come from? I 
went downstairs to ask my mom and she told me that 
my dad got it for me. I went down to the basement 
where he was lifting weights and said a quick "Thank 
you." I really didn't know how to say thanks, though, 
because I didn't even know why he gave me the rabbit. 
It was no holiday or anything special that day. I 
expected a little explanation for why he gave it to me, 
but he just said a quick, "You're welcome." 

So I was left wondering why he gave me the rabbit. 
Maybe it was that he noticed I had been depressed lately, 
and it was his way of saying, "You'll make it." Or 
maybe it was his way of saying, "I love you." But no 
matter what he meant by it, it made mc feel warm. For 
that day, I felt as if my dad and I could understand each 
other perfectly, which was odd because usually I feel as 
though we live in different worlds. 

Since that day, my dad has given me a few more 
rabbits. One is a carved wooden one that is stained a 
dark brown. Another one is a giant ceramic one that is 
all white. They just appear in my room for no apparent 
reason. Every time I look at the rabbits on my shelf, 
they kind of make me happy because I remember that 
my father cares for me. But they can also make me sad, 
because they also symbolize the lack of real 
communication between us. Our typical conversation 
for the day runs like this: My dad asks, "Are you going 
to the health club?" and I say, "No, I don't have time." 
Period. That's the whole conversation. Sometimes I 
wish we would talk more, but I really don't think he 
understands me as well as I would like him to. I'm the 
son he tries so hard to understand, but never quite can. 
Maybe because he was so much different when he was 
my age. I'm sure he wonders why I sit on my bed and 
try to write poetry, instead of going to the health club to 
lift weights and get massive muslces. And I'm sure he 
wonders why I never tried out for football or baseball in 
my life. Sure, I would play a game of football with the 
neighborhood kids, but I think he would have liked me 
to join a real team. 

Sometimes I wish I could explain all of this-try to 
let him inside of my thoughts for just awhile, but I 
never seem to get the words out. One day I was 
thinking about how little my dad and I really talk. So I 
decided that I would tell him how much I appreciated 
him. I thought of this when I was at the mall with a 
friend and saw a boy and his father talking like they were 
best friends. Then I walked past a card shop and saw a 
little Indian statue in a display case. That was one thing 
I knew about my dad. I knew he liked Indians. He has 

(continued) 



Nels Nelson 



UNEDUCABLE 



Rich Goberville 



I walk the floors, 

These hardwood floors, 

Splinters setting in the soles of my feet. 

Each prick I feel, 

Each gorgeous drop of blood I shed, 

Represents a lesson well taught. 

But I am such a poor student, 

I cannot learn, 

So over the same rough spots I tread. 

I, the stupid man, 

Soon will become rotting, grey meat. 

Only then will I know of life, 

Only then will I respect the floor, 

After I've picked up all the splinters, 

And have bled the final drop, 

When I wilt to the floor, 

Empty, dead 

onxaxn 

Maria Mellinger 

WHILE HE REMAINED LIMITED 

While he remained limited 

Space-wise, 

He expanded 

Mind-wise, 

Eternally internal, 

Until the exterior's enemy 

Broke through. 

COXEEED 



FRIENDS 

Burrs in my hair 

Lincoln Logs 

Rocks in the pool 

Franks' s lunch to the neighborhood dog 

Drinking swigs of vinegar (Yuck!) 
Playing tackle football 
Egging Fat Ed's 
Three man softball 

Swimming at Doc's 
Cushion fights in your basement 
Tearing down your elaborate fort 
(You didn't kill me, to my amazement) 

Playing ping-pong behind our backs 
Hide and Seek in the dark 
Days spent at Minneoka 
Fires started with just a spark 

Your garden in the woods 

(Which, to your doubts, I did not destroy) 

Catching turtles in the pond 

And snakes, which was your true joy 

You getting into fights with Greg 
As I watched his tears 
Acorn fights at the bus stop 
You getting me a job at Sears 



Joseph M. Nahas 

COWBOY BOB 

Cowboy Bob, a jig and a job 

Jumped on his horse and soon felt the throb 

With a scream and a shout then a whoop-a-dee-dee 

He flew off his horse and fell to his knees. 

Bob tried to get up, but the pain was too much 

But he understood he couldn't hold a glutch. 

With a yip and a yipe and a strutter-strut 

Bob pulled himself if somewhat up. 

Cowboy Bob didn't see Black Barney that day 

For his hands were on the wrong trigger and they would 

stay. 
Cowboy Bob was blasted. 

eax trcp 



And then Time passed 

As it always seems to do 

But just one night of playing pool reminded me 

I still have a friend in you 



ntvii m m 



J. Ardith Cox 



SILENCE 



'Silence is a friend who will never betray."~Confucius 
"Silence is an enemy once betrayed."-J. Ardith Cox 



ITXXXXXIi 



The Rabbits on My Shelf, continued 



Dawn Simmons 



loads of Indian books and even some Indian pictures on 
his bedroom wall. I went into the card shop and bought 
the litde Indian. 

When I got home, I set it on top of the television set 
in his bedroom. He came home alter that night, and 
when he saw the statue, my mom quickly mentioned 
that I had put it there. (I could hear, because my 
bedroom is right next to theirs.) He came to my room 
to say thank you, and I said, "You're welcome." Then 
there was a silence that grew more disturbing by the 
moment. Finally, my dad said, "Well, see you in the 
morning," and I just said, "Sure." I couldn't believe that 
I was so embarrassed that I couldn't even tell him why I 
gave him the Indian, like I planned to do. The words 
just stuck to the roof of my mouth like a spoonful of 
peanut butter. When my dad finally left my room, after 
what seemed forever, I had just one thought on my 
mind. Why is intimacy so hard for us? 

coxaxn 

Norma Dodge 

THE LIFE AND LOVES OF A YUPPIE 

Oh, for the life of a yuppie 
Porsche, Jacuzzi, Shih Tzu puppy, 
To trade one's Olds for a Mercedes 
To dress in furs one's favorite ladies. 

A yuppie's wife is called a yummie. 
No more than two shall call her "mummy." 
Golf and tennis, shops at Bloomie's 
Keeps in touch with college "roomies." 

Only the best address will do them. 
Ten rooms is only a cottage to them. 
Tennis court and swimming pool, 
Nanny, nursery, private school. 

Oh, for the life of a yuppie. 
Porsche, Jacuzzi, Shih Tzu puppy, 
Material objects must be won, 
The race goes on and on and on. 



BEACHES 

I can remember 

sitting by the downstairs fireplace 

during those frosty nights, 

talking (sometimes til three), 

eating popcorn and watching the fire 

(it sometimes made us cry). 

And I can remember 

scraping the ice off the windows of my car, 

the moonlight turning the snow 

into fields of glitter, 

and you scribbling "bye" with your finger 

on the fogged- up glass of your front door. 

And I can remember 

driving home and feeling so grateful 

that I had such a wonderful person 

for a best friend. 

We've gone through so much change, 

and it's almost winter again. 

Will there be any frosty night this year? 

coxa x 1 1 

Sherry Gunderman 

ROTORELIEF 

Others 

see you in the hall. 

And ignore you. 

Your fast-paced figure 

Your downcast eyes. 

You might as well 

be invisible 

in their world. 

In mine, 

you are the sun 

that is hidden 

behind the many clouds 

shrouding my day, hopes 

and dreams. 

You are not reality. 

Reality yells. 

You whisper. 

Reality blatantly battles 

your subtlety. 

Good luck in Boston. 

I hear New England 

is beautiful 

in the fall. 



Joseph M. Nahas 

INTRO... 

Sometimes you just have to pay, in order to win. 
When you have to invest in your problem, you want the 
best; someone who will get the job done, clean and 
effectively. There is one group that you can trust to 
fulfill your extermination deeds. That group is 
Maximum Bodycount Incorporated. M.B.I. 



Maria Mellinger 
JUST AS AN ENEMY 



CCCCOXD 

Rich Goberville 

QUESTIONS 

As I finally get in a comfortable position 

to read a book, 

you frighten me out of my serenity 

as you jump on my lap. 

I want to push you back off, 

but not wanting you to feel unloved 

I allow you to stay 

and relax as comfortably as I used to be. 

You nuzzle your head against me, 

as if you need me, 

and then you quickly doze off. 

I watch you 

in your peaceful sleep 

and start to wonder 

all these crazy thoughts. 

I wonder if you ever feel sad, 

or if you ever get bored 

the way I sometimes do. 

But most of all 

I wonder if you feel love. 

Can you feel love? 

Just as my entire existence 

is lost in thoughts, 

you jump off my lap. 

A fly buzzing by disturbed your nap 

and you decide to chase it. 

What silly thoughts I have. 

You just proved that you are 

just a "cat." 

I watch you chase the fly 

until your get bored. 

Soon afterwards, 

you jump back up on my lap 

nuzzling your head against me, 

as if you need me. 



Just as an enemy 

Gives thought of a friend, 

The winter brings dreams 

Of the summer, 

The work makes the waste 

Worthwhile; 

My turmoil is necessary 

To appreciate die peace. 



mmm 

Dawn Simmons 

WHAT IF...? 

Things really clicked 
in the beginning 
But you feared 
a painful ending 
So we had no middle 
And I was left 
with nothing. 

axEEPoa 

Rich Goberville 

WHAT TO SAY 

I won't say that I can't live without you 

Because I've been caught in that trap 

When someone said they needed me 

And I didn't care for them 

But I pretended that I needed them too 

Just to make them feel good 

But soon the truth came out 

And then we both felt like fools 

No, I won't say that I can't live without you 

I won't even say I care 

I'll just say I love you 

And just leave it at that 

Because saying I love you says it all 

It's not saying "Please don't leave me" 

It's just saying "I want you to stay," 

But only if you love me too" 

tmmm m 



-10- 



J. Ardith Cox 



Kim Vollmer 



THEY TELL ME 



KNOW OF ME 



They tell me 
How Time 
Distance, 

And Loneliness 
Will tear us apart. 
You tell me 
That Love 

Can make this Dream 
Survive. 

They tell me 
How Love, 
Life, 

And Happiness 
Will fade from our hearts. 
You tell me 
That Dreams 

Can keep this Flame 
Alive. 

They tell me 
How Pride, 
Want, 

And Selfishness 
Will not let Love last. 
You tell me 
That Fate 

And join two hearts 
As one. 

They tell me 
How People 
Places, 

And Things 
Will bring back the past. 
You tell me 
That Nothing 

Can stop a Love 
Begun. 

Some things they say 
Seem to tell me 
They don't care. 
Everything you say 
Seems to tell me 
You love me. 



cnmro 



-11- 



Comforted by crickets outside my window. 

They remind me that I am safe from 

the person I used to be. 

I will not dodge your questions. 

I am protected by time. 

I do not ask you what you need 

Only to dangle it before your eyes. 

They say you have to hide your love away. 

I can't 

You will know of me 

from the most reliable source. 

Yourself. 

ccaxcEP 

Clariece Henne 
FEARS 

Last week saw the passing of Halloween for another 
year. It seems there is always a lot of speculation about 
what it is that makes us fearful. The "Ten O'Clock 
News" nightly serves us a banquet of fears to choose 
from, if by chance we are having any difficulty finding 
them on our own. Take your pick: nuclear war, total 
damage of the environment, a mounting deficit. These 
fears seem somewhat remote, albeit real. Standing just a 
few mile markers from my half-century past, taking a 
good look around me~and also looking back-I'd have to 
say I've pretty well conquered any fears I've had. 
Although "conquered" may be a somewhat strong word. 
It conjures up a picture of someone who has done battle 
with great fears and has overcome them. My fears are 
ordinary fears shared by practically everyone I've every 
met: fear of the dark, fear of losing a loved one, fear of 
failure. Oh, I'm not trying to make my reader believe 
that these fears still don't raise iheir ugly heads 
occasionally. I'm just here to say that with practice I've 
learned to slap them down when they do. Consequently, 
I had the feeling that if I spent time writing about these 
fears, I would give them more credence than they 
deserve. So I choose instead to acquaint my reader with 
three things that make me feel secure. 

We live in a big old farmhouse. In the fall when the 
weather turns cold, an army of mice line up with duffle 
bags in tow waiting for their chance to bivouac in my 
house. This place has become so popular, the invastion 
so complete, that a call to the big guns to see about 
extermination seemed timely. Well, now I know how 

(continued) 



Fears, continued 



the big guns attained their status--by charging king-size 
fees. We simply could not afford their services. I did 
not actively seek out the services of a cat, although the 
thought had entered my mind. I thought the problem 
was too big for one cat. An army of mice certainly 
could not be eradicated by one general. 

One night, in a dreadful rainstorm, I heard a pitiful 
sound coming from my back-porch step. When I went 
to investigate, I found a tiny wet creature sorely in need 
of a good meal. A kitten. I brought her in, dried her off 
and fed her. My thoughts at the time did not go beyond 
giving her shelter and a meal to this stranger. But one 
day led to another and soon weeks had gone by. The 
Kitten became known as T.K. and it became crystal clear 
that our family had just increased by one. 

What does all this have to do with feeling secure? 
Well that tiny homeless creature grew daily in stature, 
catching mouse after mouse until it was obvious she 
was the general I'd been looking for. The army was on 
the run, and soon had retreated entirely. So, I'm quite 
secure in the knowledge that my home will not be 
invaded and held under siege again. It's also a 
comfortable feeling to curl up on the sofa with a good 
book and T.K. purring on my lap— something I would 
not have cared to do with the Orkin man. 

Speaking of curling up with a good book brings to 
mind another thing that makes me feel secure. My 
bookshelves filled with books. (I just can't abide 
bookshelves with plants and sculptures and photographs. 
Bookshelves are for books.) 

Once upon a time, several years ago, I can't bear to 
count them, we had a snowstorm that dumped tons of 
snow on us. As I've mentioned before, I live in a big, 
old farmhouse. What I didn't say is that it's up a long 
lane, a lane that becomes impassable with only a couple 
of inches of snow. The amount of snow this particular 
storm dumped on us made the lane impossibly 
impassible. My family members were scattered hither 
and yon. Not one of them could make it home, and of 
course, there was no way for me to make it out. I 
listened to the weatherman report gleefully that the snow 
would continue, to be joined by high winds. This went 
on for days. I was secure in the knowledge that whatever 
he could dish out, I could take, because I had those 
shelves full of books. In fact, the storm became a 
welcome intruder into my daily life. Now I would have 
the chance to curl up on the sofa for endless hours to 
read without feeling guilty about not cooking supper or 
washing dirty socks. But all good things come to an 
end, and after four days, the snowplow came lumbering 



up the road. Soon to be followed by the school bus. 

School busses-there is my third example of things 
that make me feel secure. Each morning as I sit by the 
window drinking my morning tea, planning my day, I 
watch the school bus go by. Some mornings it stops, 
the door opens, and gobbles up the little red-jacketed boy 
I sent down the lane. Some mornings it's a little bit 
bigger green-jacketed boy this huge yellow creature 
gobbles up. In nice weather when the windows are 
open, I can hear the reassuring hum of the engine that 
powers it on its way. I feel good every time I see the 
bus chugging down the road. I can't explain why, even 
though I have given it a lot of thought. The closest I 
can come to an explanation is this: No matter what I 
may have heard on the 'Ten O 'Clock News" to scare me 
to death, it's morning now and the methodical yellow 
beast is working its way up and down all the country 
roads, collecting our most treasured possessions. I know 
life will go on for at least another day. And the morning 
I don't see it, unless of course it's a holiday or the snow 
is up to my eyebrows again— that's the morning I'll 
begin to feel a real fear. 

ixxxxxra 

Nels Nelson 

HEY, GOD 

A caffeine tick- 
Why is it always so late 
When I look at the clock? 
Why does smoke taste better 
And the music sound tenfold more soulful? 
That damn clock. 
Shut up! I'm not ready for sleep. 
Is it here where I will find my god? 
Here, between a bedtime I don't believe in, 
And my first class, which I'll skip? 
Why is night so much more than day? 
Is it darkness and solitude? 
The lights are on, my house is full. 
Could it be the moon? 

Romantic fool, the moon has been written into death. 
Then why the night? Tell me soon, 
The price of a night is rising, 
And I still have no answers. 
Who is this nowhere man? 

caxcccn 



•12- 



Judy Belfield 

SHOWDOWN 

Your eyes fixed in 

a too-long stare 

the green blurring before me 

narrowing as pupils expand 

locking up the me I was 

a moment before 

tossing out all trace of humor 

for this deadly confrontation: 

a secret dare you issue 

without a word 

(humiliating my sense of what's what, 

challenging me to run, to speak, 

but I will not). 
We wait 

smoldering, stubborn; 
perhaps time will suddenly 
open up and scream 
til our eardrums split. 
This never happens. 
Instead, one of us always 
looks away. 

coxcrxn 

Mike Carter 

EVILDOER 
CHAPTER 1: THE WOMAN 

She paced inside the building of the gas station. She 
had her money in hand and as she walked back and forth, 
expressing her anger at the attendant she waved it around. 
Several times as she turned, she almost knocked one of 
the candy racks over. 

Elmer was about to jump over the counter when he 
saw this. His station was his most prized possession in 
the world. He didn't want any woman messing things 
up. He could have seen this woman coming. When she 
put her gas in her car herself, she had been complaining 
to the air. Now she was complaining to him about the 
state that a country would have to be in to make a 
woman of her caliber pump her own gas and almost 
break a nail. He made every attempt to calm her. Under 
his breath, he even offered to kiss her feet if she would 
just leave him alone. 

The woman's tirade about the dispensing of gasoline 
escalated. To her, though, this was no speech about gas. 
It was her personal crusade for everyone to treat her like 



Nels Nelson 

FOR AN OLD SOUL 

Again I find myself 

Wanting to give to yourself. 

But what? 

Ink and paper? 

No, I have more, just let me look for it 

Things are so unkempt, you see. 

To give, but how? 

Oh, I'm just a boy. 

But what a boy! 

No, a just-boy. 

Just a boy who has learned 

to fall quietly, 

To be a fool 

Quietly. 



a queen. She treated every subject the same way. Every 
time she had to open a door for herself or pull a chair out 
to sit down, she would start up a long argument with the 
nearest man about common courtesy. With her being an 

extremely unattractive woman, this happened a lot. 

The woman's anger began to transfer to Elmer. 
Enough is enough, he thought. What is so important 
about the pumping of gas? He broke off the woman in 
mid-sentence. "Please, Miss. Would you just pay and 
leave already?" He took a step back and waited for a 
reaction. 

To this, the woman practically exploded in anger. 
What right did this little peasant of a man have to insult 
her in this way? Fed up with the man, she threw the 
money at him and stormed to the door. As she left, she 
knocked the candy rack over that she had previously 
bumped. 

Elmer stood thinking for a moment. Before he had 
had some doubts, but that final antic of knocking over 
the candy rack proved it. He had to go to higher 
authority on this one. He gathered up the money and 
walked to the back room. He sat at the altar. With a 
wooden match cut from a 666-year-old tree on Friday the 
13th, he lit the thirteen candles that formed a semi-cirlce 
in front of him. He hummed a tune in a deep voice and 
said a few words of Latin needed to summon the Lord of 
the Flies. Soon, he would come. 



■13- 



033X033 



Sherry Gunderman 
FATE 



I can cry 
a thousand tears 
for the one 
who'll never hear 

But for you 
I'll simply sing 
this silent song 

Far away 
and long ago 
I left him standing 
in the snow 

But you are different 
because it's summer 
in our world 

And if my mention 
of the past 
caused your eyes 
to downwards cast 

I'm sorry 
I never meant 
to hurt your pride 



a x caxp 



Sherry Gunderman 
SURREALISM 



Why 

are you alone? 
You walk to 
class & swing 
your bag 
and take large 
steps 

to make your height 
seem more 
and to accommodate 
your stride. 
You move so quickly 
that others 



He is gone 
and you are here 
the message 
is so clear 

But I know the truth 

and fate 

will have its way 

When you go 
I will not cry 
Don't look back 
I'll dry my eyes 

Have fun 
going abroad 
But think of me 

Because your face 
will haunt me too 
and knowing you're 
with someone new 

Will hurt 
As I'm destined 
To walk alone. 



may not try 
to see though your 
transparent spirit. 
Don't slow down- 
movement and action 
baffle the eye. 
And you 
can remain 
anonymous... 
forever. 



axmrD 



■14- 



Maria Mellinger 
YOU CAN GET ANOTHER 



You can get "another" 
Of almost anything 
In this world. 
It's the attachment 
To the "one" 
That makes it special. 



rrinnnn m 



Paul Pritchett 



ZEN FRENCH FRY 



I think it's 
really interesting 
how you don't 
have to mention 
the title of 
a poem, in 
the poem itself. 



fc^B>JbjMfcJfcJ>«fcJ 



Maria Mellinger 
A SWEET SILENCE 



A sweet silence 

On the phone; 

And in the background, 

The laughter of others 

In the room... 

Your breathing, 

An occasional heavy sigh; 

My favorite conversation.. 



1 1 lyyv rp 



ShondaTalerico 

GOD, I'M STARVING 

Rover gulps down Gravy Train 

As a family chokes down their meal of grain 

At the feast delicious desserts are passed 

As dry bread crumbs are divided to make them last 

"GOD, I'M STARVING!" belched the fat man. 
"God, I'm starving," implored the dirty waif. 

Half-chewed sandwiches tossed by the street 
As hungry children wish for a hunk of meat 
Slippery popcorn tossed around the show 
Barren fields where nothing will grow 

"GOD, I'M STARVING!" 
"God, I'm starving." 

Day-old donuts are trashed 
Bums retrieve dinner before it's smashed 
Baseball hot dogs bought for $5 
Mama's thin milk won't keep baby alive 

"GOD, I'M STARVING!" 
"God, I'm starving." 

Catching butter sauce dribbling down his chin 
Charity clatters in the rusty tin 
Stuffing Twinkies into shopping bags 
Finding lunch among soiled rags 

"GOD, I'M STARVING!" 
"God, I'm starving." 

Caramel crushed in a sidewalk groove 
Mama's baby won't move 
Catsup covers a crispy fry 
A hopeless tear hovers in her eye 

"GOD, I'M STARVING!" 
"God, I'm starving." 



■15- 



Sherry Gunderman 

THE CAFETERIA 

The deepness of the moment 

suffocated her. 

She bit her lip 

and pretended to ignore 

his stupidity. 

She left, 

without a backwards glance, 

and cursed him 

into eternal damnation 

for all of his cruel ignorance. 

Her stride picked momentum. 

She hated the anonymous blond 

She hated her friend 

She hated him 

And she hated herself~for caring. 

"Why is this HAPPENING??" 

She demanded of the air. 

No reply came. 

The Future stood at the door waiting patiently for her 

And she walked past him. 

cnxmc 

Maria Mellinger 

IN A MOST DIRTY 

In a most dirty, 
Childish, and 
Vindictive way, 
I have snatched 
My friendship back 
From you, 
And hidden it 
In the alleyway. ' 
Maybe there 
It will find 
Fish bones 
Or pleasant felines 
To associate with, 
Which can be 
No worse 
Than you. 

axaxca 



Sherry Gunderman 

A MEETING WITH THE STRANGER 

I met him. 

The brown-eyed boy... 

with the beautiful hair 

that had one miniature braid 

skipping down the right side of his bangs. 

He complimented me 

that brown-eyed boy... 

he liked my sweater. 

"Sharp" was the quote. 

And I replied "thank you" in an innocent whisper. 

He knows. 

That brown-eyed boy knows 

that my heart beats faster when he's in the room. 

And he stared at me. 

The brown-eyed boy sure stared- 

and saw my soul through his brown eyes. 

I only wish 

he was worth getting to know. 

t. x .o mm 

Kim Vollmer 

NO STRINGS 

no strings 

no attachment-no detachment 

no giving~no taking 

no staying-no leaving 

no charge-no refund 

no problem 

we don't have any strings 

in our relationship 

we have this invisible force 

we are surrounded by something 

that keeps us 

when we are together 

and holds us when we are 

apart 

no strings 

this is what we've become 

I don't feel bad when you're away 

but I don't feel good anymore 

□XEDX P 



-16- 



Sherry Gunderman 

ADOLESCENCE 

dusty country roads 

full harvest moons 

king-of-the-mountain 

mosquito bites 

ice-skating . 

sunburn 

black and white movies 

snowball fights 

mayonnaise jars full of lightning bugs 

horse shows 

4-H 

picnics 

chlorine 

kittens 

snow angels 

com on the cob 

convertibles 

county fairs 

sleepovers 

scary stories 

inseparable friends 

Perfection 

Childhood. 

axaxca 

Nels Nelson 

WHOOOHOOHOOOO 

The music starts, oozing out of the speakers, 

Kisses me open mouth on the forehead, 

Sloppy, wet, luscious, 

Calling me across the world 

To far India, 

Farther, into space. 

Seductive, it wears a dress slit to the hip, 

"Do you want to dance?" 

Oh, I need to dance. 

"Then come with me, into me." 

She, my music, leads me, tickles, 

Smiling. 

God, I could piss my pants! 

"Don't postpone joy," she shrieks. 

My word! 

The final beats of a drum 

Lead me into spectral orgasm. 

raaaxca 



Sherry Gunderman 

THE STRANGER 

Things 

are strange. 

The long-awaited dream 

is now reality. 

Now...that happiness 

is around the corner 

(I can hear its footsteps & happy whisding) 

my eyes have a tendency 

to wander. 

My green eyes 

stray to his brown ones 

And I admire 

his hair-his stance-his style. 

He captures me 

and smiles with interest. 

I feel overwhelming lashes 

of shame and guilt 

for studying a stranger's features 

when my future 

is waiting at the door. 

turn in 



Peace 

FRONT DESK 

One more shot 

that's all I got 

'til I go back to hell 

If you need to get in 

a tad more gin 

just ring the little bell 

An eight hour shift 

then I will drift 

into an astral week 

Hump day comes 

to jazz the ones 

diligent to meet 

weekend flies 

through lazy skies 

my head fills with games 

Night tolls on 

the clock says "BONG" 

and billows out the names 

Names I will remember 

cm nrn 



-17- 



Maria Mellinger 

THE BEST LAID PLANS 

The best laid plans 

Of the hunger artist 

Are plowed, devoured, destroyed 

By the tip of the doctor's 

Opera hat 

As he exits the hospital room. 

rrrrmra 

Jacque Klika 

REPLAY 

Angry, hurtful 

words exchanged 

have left their wounds 

which memories refuse to forget. 

Years of pain 

surface again 

and again they slice through fragile egos. 

He said, she said... 

who remembers well? 

Yet over and over they play in future 

incidents. Our hope 

is built on sand 

when we can not 

forgive, forget. 

Instead...we replay 

again, and again. 

And who's to blame? 

ri rri'fi 1 1 

Maria Mellinger 

WE'VE RUBBER CEMENTED 

We've rubber cemented 
Our lives together, 
Like two kindergarten 
Construction paper hearts. 
And the only trouble is that 
Gloppy stuff that peels off 
At the edges. 

CCCCOXP 



Nels Nelson 

DANCING IN BLUE, PLAYING TO YELLOW 

I see now 

Where Matisse found the yellow 

In jazz. 

The blue I could understand, 

And the black figure, of course, 

Dancing, 

But the yellow, it can't 

Just represent stars in 

Jazz air. 

It could have been 

The lick of light off of a horn, 

Or the musicians, dancing in blue, 

Do you see where I'm heading with this? 

It is all logical. 

What I'm trying to say 

Is that being a black figure 

Dancing in jazz blue, 

Is a soulless exercise 

Without a litde you, 

Yellow. 

1X0X033 

Sherry Gunderman 

MY HEART CAN'T TELL YOU NO 

The memories 

of last year 

have been chipping 

and blowing away 

on the winds of the present 

To the tempo 

of a solitary 

guitar 

And the pattern 

of incessant 

teardrops. 

iimrxp 



-18- 



Judy Belfield 

SPORT 

Hell is a baseball game 

in the city 

in July at night 

when there isn't a breeze 

and it's so hot 

the stars sweat 

and all the vendors' shirts 

are soaked through. 

The smell of hot dogs and beer 

and steamed cement 

are trapped in the smoke 

from a thousand cigarettes 

and hangs in a cloud 

under the lights. 

Sixth inning, 

kids squirm, some people are 

incredibly drunk; 

bats tick, clank, tick again; 

a whistle 

shoots out from 

the crowd's hum; 

a yell, another whistle, 

hum 

and then, a hit 

cheers, everybody stands 

the smoke cloud shifts slighdy 

the heat closes in 

strangles. 

This is hell. 

We love it. 

caxnxn 

Sherry Gunderman 
THE DATE 

Brian wasn't really a Brian. Now, of course, he was, 
because that was his name—given at birth, the name was 
christened by, and the name that he had signed on his 
homework assignments since kindergarten. 

I studied the exquisite creature next to me as he 
shifted the navy Escort from first to second and imagined 
him with a soap-opera name. In MY mind, Brian was a 
Miles or Drew or Sebastian or Ashley... something 
exotic or hopelessly romantic that would send shivers of 
excitement up the spines of Folger's French Roast 
commercial producers and seduce Harlequin editors into 



•19- 



publication. 

Brian caught me staring and interrupted my 
daydreams with a logical question. 'Turn here?" 

"Yah," I answered. 

Brian had long hair.. .and when I say long I mean 
longer than shoulder length. He had a habit of pushing 
it behind his ears (where it never stayed) and then 
rubbing his nose where his glasses rested. 

Whatever glamour his name lacked, his impeccable 
style made up for. Brian was intellectual, worldly, and 
one-hundred percent artistic. He saw sculptures in old 
bedsprings that I would have given to Joe the garbage 
man without a second thought. I wondered why I never 
felt intimidated by his overwhelming knowledge of 
everything under the sun. Friends assured me that it was 
all quite logical: Opposites attract. I decided that he was 
no smarter than me... we simply never agreed on taste 
and style-therefore, we never ran out of things to debate 
about. 

This was our second date-our second excursion to 
Chicago, and our second day spent at art exhibits, he 
had done all the planning for this day. We were going to 
see the Andy Warhol exhibit that was on display at the 
Art Institute. He handed me a pre-paid ticket as we 
walked from the cavernous parking garage and into the 
blinding light of a June afternoon. 

We dodged traffic with urban expertise and walked up 
the shallow marble steps as the art connoisseurs we 
presumed ourselves to be. The exhibit was impressive. 
Brian and I stood next to each other and critiques 
Campbell's soup cans and criticized a purple Marilyn and 
cringed over grisly views of death in a kaleidoscope of 
colors. 

We walked through a room done completely in 
nauseatingly neon yellow with purple cow portraits 
smiling boldly out at us from their paper captivity. I 
snickered quietly as he shaded his eyes from the 
gaudiness of the room. Brian was a true comedian. Of 
course, I had to pry like a grave-robber to come to that 
conclusion. 

He was my biggest conquest. I drooled over his 
mystique for a semester in an art history class. I 
followed him and learned his schedule and giggled like a 
psychotic seventh-grader. I identified his truck and 
backpack and stealthy footsteps. I studied his profile and 
adored his dimples and knew what brand of gym shoes he 
wore. I fed my obsession by reading books that I saw 
him reading and tried to psychoanalyze his scribblings 
that were bound in a maroon notebook. 

Who he was and what he was about was the core of 
my being for a span of four months. Then (God forbid) 
I began to TALK to him. I interrupted his studies and 

(continued) 



The Date, continued 



made small talk that he elaborated on. The last day of 
class found us walking out together after our 
final...which was tremendously ironic because this WAS 
so final.. .and I bravely asked him for his telephone 
number. He gave it to me eagerly, handing me a pen and 
paper, and smiled "goodbye" as I blushed uncontrollably. 

Four days later I used that number, and he asked me 
to an art exhibit on Navy Pier, it was beautiful. It was 
impressive. And the clip from that day will haunt me 
forever was simply sitting on a bench that overlooked 
the lake and talking about life. The city of Chicago was 
on our right, and seagulls dove at the water in front of 
us. Church chimes tattled the hour and continued to 
play quiet hymns through the misty pink sky. 

We saw each other in the hall at summer school and 
spent hours laughing together over the phone. I knew 
that he had already graduated from our junior college 
with an Associates Degree, but wasn't prepared when the 
day came... 

Brian stopped me in the hall. He was so cute the 
way he looked nervous and shifted his stance and played 
with his glasses when he talked to me. He told me that 
he had won the scholarship that he had applied for. 

"A twelve-thousand dollar scholarship?" I gaped. 

He smiled with pride. "Yep! I'm going to an 
orientation in July and leaving in August for good." 

Leaving. Going going gone. This college that he 
had won such a prestigious and impressive scholarship 
to was on the East Coast. This college was far faaaar 
away from Marquette and his home and the incredible 
Chicago art galleries that we had spent hours in. ..and 
me. I didn't think that we had some passionate love 
affair blossoming or anything as flamboyant as all that, 
but I enjoyed cutting down Cezanne and Picasso with 
him. I felt liberated from slapstick when he shone his 
dry humor my way, and I liked him. 

It was some obscure time between that day in the 
orange hallway at school and when we stood admiring 
Warhol that both of our attitudes must have changed 
drastically. We didn't talk as much. Maybe if we knew 
less about each other, it would hurt less when he left. 
Our humor turned into serious discussion about school 
and the future and how he WANTED to go away, but he 
also wanted to stay. He told me more than twice that he 
would like to go to our junior college for one more year 
to take art courses. ..not stuffy business courses. I 
wanted him to stay another year too, but never told him. 
From my lips he heard about how exciting this new 
school would be, and how lucky he was that he was 
going exactly where he had wanted to go, and that he 



was going to go far in life. Far. Far away. 

We left the Warhol exhibit and wandered through 
every other room that the Art Institute had to show. We 
sat on benches next to each other and laughed at how we 
disagreed on EVERY piece of artwork we talked about. 
Somehow, the whole time we laughed and talked, I knew 
that this was the end. things were too different between 
us to ever work out. He was too mature for his age, and 
I was too immature for mine. Yet his pensiveness 
fascinated me-and I studied him with the serenity of a 
child watching a pinwheel spin. My adolescent humor 
intrigued him and he listened to my thoughts with 
genuine interest, but the fascination and intrigue 
whispered empty promises to each of us. His East 
Coast scholarship waited, as did my rowdy friends at the 
junior college where Brian and I had met. 

I told myself that we really had nothing in common. 
Infatuation with a stranger had been so much more fun. 
I never saw or spoke to the mysterious Brian after that 
sunny day we spent in the art museum. Fall semester 
started soon after that, and I went back to my reality as 
he jetted off to his. I sat in rhetoric classes and read 
school papers that were filled with poetry and prose. 
Among the names listed on the credit page was Brian's. 
I tore to his poems and found them full of melancholy 
messages of leaving home and everything familiar 
behind. I never knew that he wrote poetry. Sure, he 
painted abstract paintings full of earth tones and listened 
to The Cure and 'The Graduate" was his favorite movie 
and blue was his favorite color. He hated Lima beans 
(doesn't everyone?) and he worked for his father, and he 
was Protestant, and a Pisces, and he watched soap 
operas...but did I ever really know him? 

I laugh at myself now for thinking that I knew so 
much about Brian when my knowledge was so shallow. 
I wonder what he had been thinking when he held my 
hand beneath Gustave Caillebotte's "Place de l'Europe 
on a Rainy Day," a cityscape done at the turn of the 
century-a twenty-foot tall oil painting that gave moody 
depth to a rainy day in the city-where strangers walked 
past each other on the street, and everyone hid beneath 
umbrellas— to escape the bleak drizzle. ..and to protect 
their own anonymity. 

cnxnxp 



-20- 



Norma Dodge 
A LOVE STORY 

My husband, when you look at me so dully, with 
eyes that were once so brightly blue, my heart breaks 
anew over the tragedy that has befallen us. 

You were so happy, so active, so full of life, and so 
full of pleasure in that life, and now you are so helpless, 
and what is worse, unable to communicate to me in any 
way. Sometimes I feel that there is a spark of 
recognition in your eyes, or an answering pressure when 
I hold your hands in mine, but the doctors tell me I must 
not hope~they cannot tell me not to pray. 

Our children have shown such strength and support. 
Debbi stays with us and helps me with your care, and 
Allison comes over as often as she can. Our son, who 
is stationed so far away, has been home to visit you. 
Though you do not know that he was here, I was 
strengthened by his love and deep concern for us. 

Our two teen-aged grandsons came to see you, 
though they feel uncertain and uncomfortable, they find 
it hard to realize how ill you are until they see you. 
Though they are so "grown up," they wipe away tears as 
they leave your bedside. 

Allison's five-year-old son, your "little Lukey," asks 
when Grandpa will be well, "so he will know me again." 

Steven and Leslie, who, at the age of three, do not 
understand illness, peek in and ask when Grandpa is 
going to wake up. Baby Meghan gives you a butterfly 
kiss, and gently pats your cheek. She will be taught to 
say, "I love you, Grandpa," even though you will never 
hear or understand her. 

Oh, my dear, when I lie sleepless at night, crying for 
the husband I once knew, I know that the tears that fall 
so freely are not tears of self-pity, but tears of grief for 
the strong, handsome, laughing man who is hidden 
forever behind that uncomprehending gaze with which 
your eyes meet mine. 

I pray anew for the strength to see me through to 
what can only be a tragic ending to the many years of 
love we shared. 

i mnin 

Rich Goberville 

WHY I WRITE ABOUT LOVE 

I was told by some to write about something other 
than love. That just reminded me of something. I 
remember when I was little (maybe twelve) and my 



dream was to become a song writer. When I listened to 
songs on the radio, they all seemed to be about love, and 
I didn't understand why. I told myself I would 
revolutionize all of that. If I ever had out an album of 
my own, there would be no love songs on it. I would 
have every other imaginable subject, but no love songs. 

But that was before I actually fell in love. Sure, I 
loved my parents and other relatives, but I mean the kind 
of love where you want to spend your whole life 
together. Since than, it seems to control every ounce of 
my soul, every beat of my existence. I guess that's 
what the teenage years are all about, trying to find out 
what love really is (and maybe writing some stupid 
sounding poems because you're not really sure yet). 

But to me, writing is a type of therapy. Not to say 
that I'm just writing a journal. I try to write my poems 
so that others can relate to them and, hopefully, enjoy 
them. But mosdy, it's a learning process for me. Until 
I find out what love really means, I don't think I will be 
able to stop writing about it. Sometimes I really try to 
write something light-hearted, but it always seems to 
end up on a serious note. I can try to write more "non- 
love" poems or stories, but I don't think I can totally 
stop writing love poems, because they are the ones with 
the most meaning to me. 

t iri mt rn 



Rich Goberville 

SECURITY 

I observe the world 

through my bedroom window 

enclosed in a separate world 

one that I say I like to be in 

I can see rainbows from here 

without having to be in the rain 

I can see love from here 

without actually tasting the pain 

and in the bitter cold of winter 

I sit warmed by my heater 

and in the withering heat of summer 

I sit cooled by my fan 

yes, I have everything 

enclosed in my private space 

everything I need 

will someone get me out of here? 



-21- 



Sherry Gunderman 

THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY 

The wind 

courted the leather-brown leaves, 

and asked them to dance. 

And the leaves accepted. 

I watched the giggling leaves from my first-floor 

window 
as they skipped away down the wet 
night street- 

they were entranced by the wind, 
and ignored my presence. 

I put my hand to the glass 

as if to stop them 

from leaving 

and left fingerprints on the window. 

Nostalgia settled 

and my heart wept in agony. 

Halloween. 

Happy Happy Halloween. 

My favorite holiday. 

Three years since our eyes first met. 

One year since I last heard your voice. 

Three years since I became 
unexplainably happy. 
Three years since 
the curtain of impending pain 
was lowered over my happiness 
like a gauzy shear. 

Three years of the happiest. 
Three years of the saddest- 
because you left me 
on a sunny day 
to begin a new life. 
And your empty air 
could not be filled by another. 
Happy Halloween. 

Three anniversary. 
I watched the dead leaves 
somersault in the air 
and called out to thern- 
not to go... 

Because no other leaves 
would ever be as beautiful. 

axmrn 



Melynda Findlay 
A NEW CAR 

It was the summer of 1987 and suddenly there were 
four drivers in my family— well, sort of. Of course my 
mom, my dad, and I drove. My brother was trying to. 
After twelve tries, he finally had his license-but needless 
to say, my parents were hesitant about letting him take 
the car. So, with three regular drivers and only two cars, 
transportation was always a problem. We had this 
horrible electric blue station wagon and a Nova. I drove 
the Nova most of the time, which I didn't mind. It 
wasn't too bad. The station wagon was another story, 
however. Its only redeeming quality was that it didn't 
have wood on the sides. It has this putrid color of 
electric blue (METALLIC electric blue) and it had no 
radio. Even an AM radio that only picked up country- 
western stations would have been noise at least. Then 
came the fateful day that my parents decided it was time 
to buy a new car. I was excited at first; I though my 
family would finally get a nice four-door luxury car like 
every other family in America. But NO! Our family 
has never had a normal car. Besides the "electric blue" 
(as we fondly refer to the wagon) and the Nova, we've 
had two Vegas, a big rusty white station wagon, and a 
Maverick. Well, God forbid my parents should break 
their dorky trend buying embarrassing cars. 

"We're buying a Ford Aerostar!" my dad announced 
proudly. (Oh, as if that's something to brag about.) An 
oversized loaf of bread that looks like some sort of 
demented insect. 

"It'd be a lot cheaper to get a Buick Regal, Dad," I 
replied attempting to appeal to his sense of frugality. 

"Not really. Just think, we could bring Duffy with 
us when we go to Sharon and George's this summer," 
my mom gushed. 

Oh, super. "Just take me to hell now, Lord," I 
mumbled. Sharon and George's? A mini-van? Take the 
dog on vacation? Yes, hell would be a holiday compared 
to this vacation. Sharon and George are my parents' 
friends. They live in a resort town in northern 
Wisconsin. I HATE them for two reasons: 1) they are 
always trying to fix me up with their dweebo son, 
David, and; 2) they won't let me take showers, they 
expect me to bathe in their lake, with the fish! I just 
don't think so! And bring our dog Duffy along? Oh 
that would be a joy. Duffy weighs about 90 pounds, is 
a little too friendly, and has the worst dog breath /' ve 
ever experienced. Yes, I'd be spending this summer in 
Purgatory. Anyway, back to the New mini-van. Mom 

(continued) 



-22- 



A New Car, continued 

and Dad took Marc and I to the car lot in Naperville to 
see it. "Keep an open mind," I kept telling myself. 

Well, it wasn't that bad. Actually it was that bad, 
but one important feature made the embarrassment seem 
worthwhile—AM/FM cassette with separate tuners and 
headphone jacks in the back seats! 

"So what do you think?" dad asked. 

"I'm likin' the radio," I replied. 

I guess the car was almost cool with the radio, so my 
parents found another van that they liked "better." 
Figures. This one only had an AM radio-but it had one 
feature that no "dorky" car can be without— a car top 
carrier. My dad sacrificed a real radio for a car top carrier. 
Did the embarrassment never cease? 

Well, in closing, I must admit I actually don't mind 
traveling in the "Wonder Bread Van!" I can't say whether 
I like driving it—the folks won't let me touch it. Well, I 
guess that's okay. It's touch to see with a grocery bag 
over your head. 

qxximm 

David L. Sullivan, Jr. 

SOWETO ROAD: A STORY OF THE 
AMERICAN NEAR-FUTURE 

(After the Great Civil Conflict, circa 2017) 

The blood mingles with the sand of the dusty road as 
the sand particles ride atop the puddles themselves like 
crude oil rising in stagnant colored water. The potholes 
begin to fill with the stuff as a stench more foul than 
that produced by skunks stabs at my nostrils, making 
me choke back bitter bile. Soon the wagons would 
come to collect the tortured and dead bodies of the day's 
'catch.' 

There is a small young Negro girl, seven, screaming 
her head off with eternal force, her small body 
convulsing on the old street comer, the face twisted in 
rage and grief. I gaze at her tear-stained face, caked with 
dust brought by the warm breeze of the early afternoon. 
Lord God in Heaven Above, I growl to myself in 
thought. How should any creature, especially as young 
and precious as this mere baby, this innocent human 
being, be subjected to such blindness and carnage as 
this ? The thought perplexed me with increasing 
intensity as I continued to study the child, who had 
fallen unsteadily on her knees before her dead mother, her 
body riddled with bruises, in some places the flesh 
grotesquely torn to reveal tender pink flesh oozing 



brilliant crimson red blood down onto the street below. 
Swallowing my bile, I turn away and change direction. 

Continuing my slow plod, I came upon a Negro 
youngster of good height and excellent build being 
brutally forced out of a rotting shack by six white and 
two black officers wearing full riot gear. Frowning in 
disgust, I clenched my teeth in silent rage as they 
pummeled the boy with bone-crushing blows. Deep 
pink and red bruises began to take appearance in various 
places along the boy's upper torso. Soon, the pain had 
become too unbearable, so the youngster viciously 
twisted and broke away from the mob, racing at 
astonishing speed toward the village's old mill. 

Acting quickly, one of the white officers, a brutish, 
hulking mass of flesh with the obvious name of 
Crusher, snatched out his standard issue revolver and 
began blasting away at the boy as shouts of pain and 
horror reared from every face that was not police, 
whether white or black. In a few moments it was over 
as abruptly as it had started, for one of the projectiles 
scored a direct hit on the boy's skull, spewing blood, 
bone, and brain into the air as the body twitched 
nervously before collapsing to the ground. Another 
'catch,' another paycheck. To them, it was one more 
step toward material satisfaction. Suddenly I felt a warm 
pressure along my right jaw followed by a gooey, 
oozing wetness. I looked to my right and then, quite 
astonishingly, down. 

It was a small Negro boy, much like the one who 
had just gotten killed but much less refined, physically 
and psychologically. I could tell that the child's actual 
age was about thirteen or fourteen, but from the hard 
lines coursing around his eyes further complimented by 
caked dust gave him the look of forty. He was 
screaming curses at me in his native tongue, but the 
words were more like well-honed spears striking into my 
heart, driving me toward the pit of extinction. I was 
petrified during this time, unable to move a single 
muscle as the child started striking me in the side. A 
few moments later, I snapped back into alertness and, 
quite accidentally, pushed the child into the ground hard, 
whereas I had meant only to cast him aside; his head 
struck the crude pavement on the curb. 

Carefully wiping the warm ooze off my cheek, I 
glanced at the boy numb with confusion as he leaped off 
the curb, lips swollen and bloody, and he began to his 
refutation again, this time around with a violent 
intensity that rivaled God's own wrath. I turned away 
and plodded on in shame, vaguely expecting him to 
follow. Instead, he did not, choosing to remain to stand 
his ground upon the dusty street itself while his words 

(continued) 



-23- 



Soweto Road, continued 

struck with greater tenacity, with far better results than 
mere physical aggression. My God, why in the hell do I 
have to be a part of this, I berated myself again in 
thought. Why did I have to be the ringleader of this 
sickening mass of ruthless, cold-blooded killers? 
Why?!? 

I glanced across the street, taking notice of an aging 
Negro woman in her early seventies clutching the 
rumpled, bloodied form of her half-dead, middle-aged son, 
half of whose face had been riddled by gunfire. I stopped 
again for a moment, watching the old woman's family 
members, including the man's children and his wife, 
whose stony-faced expression told of an iceberg that was 
ripe for cracking at the slightest instance, gather to her 
sides, clenching to each other and wailing out in pain as 
they grasped her and her fallen child. If my bills hadn't 
been so damned high, I would have most gladly accepted 
that early resignation. 

Behind me, the roar of a seasoned white police 
veteran caught my attention as he began to scream at the 
family in brutish disgust. Distressed, I faced about and 
glared almost without expression into that mask of utter 
repulsion. Was that supposed to be a representative of 
justice, the sworn upholder of law and respect for all 
mankind? Like hell. He grunted his acknowledgment 
and passed me, stabbing his long black nightstick into 
the air at the family as he brandished his standard issue 
sidearm (regulations can be so disgusting") , screaming to 
them that if they didn't break up and go separate ways 
within a matter of seconds, serious consequences would 
result. 

Taking it as extreme offense, and that it was, a 
young Negro woman, eyes bulging wildly in rage, 
charged from the group despite frightened, staunch 
protests, and raced toward the officer, who smartly 
cracked her skull with his 'stick once she was in 
immediate reach. Tonight my dreams would, again, give 
me only. another good hour's rest. 

Screaming out in horror as a small number of their 
group had risen to escort the old woman, the other 
family members promptly rushed to the dying girl, 
cowering like simpering pups before the angry glare of 
the constable, who shook them back with a single wave 
of the nightstick. Looking back at the elder, she was 
putting up a delightful struggle (if the word "delightful" 
applied) in wanting to gather up her son's remains before 
the wagons collected him and numerous other dead and 
half-dead and dumped them off somehwere in some 
godforsaken ditch of dry sand a few short miles away 



from the village itself. The bile began to sting my 
throat again, like pungent acid in my esophagus. So 
much has happened herc.so much to bear . 

I managed to cross the intersection onto the next 
block, waving down a small squad car in the distance. A 
sigh, quivering me with helpless rage, escaped my lungs 
as my eyes glanced upon a blue corner post sign: 300 
N. SOWETO ROAD, in bold letters. As the squad car 
pulled up, I could hear the wail of the wagons' sirens 
overcome the bitter screams of both law officers and the 
grieving native Negroes alike as I repressed angry tears. 
I felt a bitter hatred toward my own people, the English 
rejects who came over to this land and stole, through the 
Bible , from these poor, suffering hags and deemed them 
an 'inferior' lot, not to be ever associated with their 
'greatness'. Sliding into the car, I muttered a silent 
prayer, taking one last, stressful look upon the 
struggling native Negroes. Dear God, I thought you 
made this world for all its children, for them to work 
together... 

axmxp 

Kim Vollmer 

CALIFORNIA 

We were eleven that day. I remember her broad smile 
and her too-skinny eleven-year-old legs stretched out and 
down the steps of the porch. I just stood there before her 
with -my moccasin boots swinging softiy under the grip 
of my right hand. My heart beating in the pit of my 
stomach and my throat squeezing back and in the tiny 
cries. My eyes were dry, hers were wet. I didn't know 
what California was, or what it meant. I remember 
wanting to ask her as I dropped the boots on the porch. 
I didn't. She pulled the boots on over her tan feet. She 
stood up in those boots and tried to stop her own tears; 
she kept rubbing her eyes, and she kept crying. And I 
just stood there. "You'll come visit us in California," 
her mom assured me, assured.us. "Yes," I had said. But 
even then I knew I'd never see those boots again 

(Tiimrrn 



-24- 



Nels Nelson 

COLOMBIA 

Another war? 

A war on drugs. 

What did they ever do? 

No, a war on drug lords. 

Oh Lord, who art in coca, 

Pontius Bush is after you. 

Silly George, 

He just wants the beach-front real estate, 

Gonna open a new Club Med. 

Our majestic President is so awfully busy. 

Hello, USA, mind your own business for a while. 

Not another good war, okay? 

What makes a war good? 

Are there party streamers, danceable music, 

Free beer and chips? 

Are the people killed neatly? 

"He died so politely." 

"Excuse me, may I shoot out your entrails?" 

"Isn't this a good war?" 

Hitler thought his war to be a good one. 

I don't, nor is any. 

I am twenty years old. 

carmrj 

Kim Vollmer 

CAPTAIN AMERICA SHOES 

Time: Middle of the night 
Location: All-night diner 

Four junior college students sitting in a booth, two boys 
and two girls. The two boys are facing each other at the 
front of the stage so only a profile view is seen. The 
two girls are beyond the boys yet they can still be seen 
by the audience. 

Actors: 

Long Haired Girl -girlfriend of and sitting beside the 

short haired boy 
Short Haired Girl -girlfriend of and sitting beside the 

long haired boy 
Long Haired Bov --boyfriend of and sitting beside the 

short haired girl 
Short Haired Boy — boyfriend of and sitting beside the 

long haired girl 
Bald Waiter (but very feminine) 



-25- 



Stage lights up, all four are quiet and still... 

Short Haired Girl: I'm writing a play for my creative 

writing class at the junior college. 
All eyes are upon the short haired girl. 
Short Haired Girl: I'm going to write down whatever we 

say. 
All are silent—long haired boy lights a cigarette, 

smokes continuously throughout play. 
Short Haired Girl: To Short Haired Bov. Talk! 
Short Haired Boy: Shoves a mouthful of French toast 

in his mouth. I'm eating 
Long Haired Girl: I'll talk. 
Short Haired Girl: I'm only writing down the good 

stuff. 
Long Haired Girl: Then you're not going to portray me 

as I really am. 
All laugh, Long Haired Girl frowns. 
Short Haired Bov: Consoling his date. Oh, come on. 

Sometimes you say good stuff. 
Long Haired Girl: I don't want to have any part of this. 
Enter waiter to end of booth at back of stage. 
Bald Waiter High-pitched woman's voice. More coffee? 
Four actors in unison: No! 
Long Haired Boy looks up at the ceiling for what 
seems like a long time. Others then look up also. 
Then they look back at one another. Long Haired Boy 
remains with his eyes looking at the ceiling. 
Short Haired Boy: Motions to his date. We have 

roaches in our apartment. 
Long haired Girl: Looking at Short Haired Boy. Honey, 

don't tell. 
Short Haired Bov: Ignores her plea. We're charging 

them rent. And do you know what the roaches 

say. .begins to laugh uncontrollably, tears come 

from his eyes. Long Haired Boy looks 

down from the ceiling now. Short Haired Boy tries 

to speak...They say. .Laugh. They say. ..Cough. 

The girls look at him waiting for his answer. 
Short Haired Bov: They say... Uses a deeper voice. 

Sorry, man, we don't carry cash. 
Both boys laugh hysterically. Both girls shake their 
heads in disgust. 

Short Haired Bov: To girls. He Motions to Long Haired 
Boy and I are looking at each other and thinking to 
ourselves. 

Both boys laugh again. Both girls look confused. 
Long Haired Bov: It's getting silly. 
Bald Waiter enters. 
Bald Waiter: More coffee? 
Four in unison: No! 
Bald Waiter walks off swaying his hips. 
Short Haired Bov: Don't you love playlands? 

(continued) 



Captain America Shoes, continued 



Long Haired Girl: Confused tone. You mean like at 

Burger King? 
Short Haired Boy: Or Showbiz. ..or... 
Short Haired Girl: Motions to Long Haired Boy. He 

used to work at Showbiz! 
Short Haired Bov: Astonished. Did you? 
Long Haired Boy nods in agreement. 
Short Haired Girl: Yes he did, and he wore these 

"Captain America Shoes." 
Long Haired Girl: Really? 
Long Haired Bov: Admits almost proudly. Kids used to 

throw up on them. 
Both boys laugh. 
Short Haired Boy: I love those balls that they get to 

jump into. 
Long Haired Bov: Yeah, kids would throw up in there 

too. 
Short Haired Bov: Disappointed. Ooooutt! 
Long Haired Bov: They'd pee in there too, and we have 

to hose them all down-not the kids, the balls. Real 

bummers. 
Short Haired Boy: Enthusiastic again. If you took one 
ball every time you went thercXoofo up. Appears to 
be calculating in his head. After 500 times you'd have 
own playland. 

Both boys overjoyed and grinning at each other. 
Long Haired Boy: Yea! 
Short Haired Bov: Yea! 

Long Haired Girl: To Short Haired Girl. Fool Bonding! 
Short Haired Girl: Can't a girl get a cup of coffee in 
this joint? 
Other three in unison: No! 

I.KU.UH,) 

ShondaTalerico 

THE CHINA DOLL 

The Big People clung 

To the China doll 

Hid her away 

Protected from the outside world 

She grew up knowing nothing 
But fairy tales and ice cream castles 
Books and dreams were companions 
For this lonely doll 



Sometimes the Big People would play with her 
And brush her dark hair 
But oftentimes she would sit 
And face the playroom wall 

She was taught to please the Big People 
So the beautiful mannequin did as she was told 
Never ruffling her skirts 
Or mussing her fine tresses 

But it wasn't enough for the Big People 

Who demanded more from the perfect marionette 

Time passed for the China doll 
She was hungry for more 
Than dancing fairies 
And sugar-coated dreams 

Turning to the window 

Where no fairies danced 

She hopped down from the shelf on delicate feet 

Drew sweet breath into her colorless face 

She frolicked among 
The shiny train sets 
Plastic army men 
And Matchbox cars 

Time passed for the China doll 
Who had tasted life's sweet treasures 
But she became lonely 
And longed for the Big People 

Her curiosity satisfied, she returned 

Her dark locks and creamy face 

Kissed by the sunlight 

Her lacy gown embraced by summer breezes 

But the Big People didn't recognize 
Or maybe they didn't see 
Her shelf was cleaned 
And occupied by a new toy 

rnrxxxxn 



-26- 



3DUET 
OQL\JE6$ 




. 



tinW/lvfeR ^1 



ODLIET 

aumogL 

COLl£6£ 




tv\Yo\\Yitl v f1 



WORDFATff? 7Q STAFF 

sue cnerven, bob loewe, marla mellinger, nels nelson, jonn stobart, david I. sullivan, Kim vollmer 



[n order to get a selection published in this issue, four of the above had to vote for acceptance. For the award winners, only John 

Stobart is responsible. 



Manuscripts or cover designs for 

wordeater /I 

must be submitted to John 
Stobart in room C-1069 by: 

February 23, 1990 

Manuscripts will not be returned 
and should by typed. 






AWARDS 

POETRY 

$10 to Sherry Gunderman 

PROSE 

$10 to Sherry Gunderman 
$10 to Norma Dodge 
$ 5 to Rich Goberville 

COVERS 

$20 to Kim Vollmer 



Next Deadlines: 

February 23, 1990 
April 12, 1990 




All copyrights are retained by the authors, and materials may not be reprinted without their permission. 









Joseph M. Nahas 


Intro... 


10 








Rich Goberville 


Questions 


10 








Maria Mellinger 


Just As An Enemy 


10 








Dawn Simmons 


What If...? 


10 


••Q+.+64t4&^$'&-3&$® 


& 


Rich Goberville 


What To Say 


10 








J. Ardith Cox 


They Tell Me 


11 


TABLE OF CONTENTS 


Kim Vollmer 


Know Of Me 


11 


^#@^#@ 


*%@*#@* 


m 


Clariece Henne 
Nels Nelson 


Fears 
Hey, God 


11 
12 








JudyBelfield 


Showdown 


13 








Nels Nelson 


For An Old Soul 


13 








Mike Carter 


Evildoer 


13 


Dawn Simmons 


Window Watching 


i 


Sherry Gunderman 


Fate 


14 


J. Ardith Cox 


Headlines 


i 


Sherry Gunderman 


Surrealism 


14 


J. Ardith Cox 


Home-I-Cide 


i 


Maria Mellinger 


You Can Get Another 


15 


ShondaTalerico 


Obsession 


i 


Paul Pritchett 


Zen French Fry 


15 


Paul Pritchett 


Experiment 538-4A 


2 


Maria Mellinger 


A Sweet Silence 


15 


Nels Nelson 


From Documentary 


2 


ShondaTalerico 


God, I'm Starving 


15 


Sherry Gunderman 


Imagery 


2 


Sherry Gunderman 


The Cafeteria 


16 


Sherry Gunderman 


Nineteen-Eighty-Six 


2 


Maria Mellinger 


In A Most Dirty 


16 


Norma Dodge 


Grossly Euphemistic 


2 


Sherry Gunderman 


Meeting With the Stranger 


16 


Sherry Gunderman 


The Paperback 


3 


Kim Vollmer 


No Strings 


16 


Maria Mellinger 


My Sarcastic Summer 


3 


Sherry Gunderman 


Adolescence 


17 


Sherry Gunderman 


April 


3 


Nels Nelson 


Whooohoohoooo 


17 


Dawn Simmons 


When Autumn Passed 


3 


Sherry Gunderman 


The Stranger 


17 


JudyBelfield 


The First of October 


4 


Peace 


Front Desk 


17 


Maria Mellinger 


Making Wishes 


4 


Maria Mellinger 


The Best Laid Plans 


18 


Joseph M. Nahas 


Merry Christmas 


4 


Jacque Klika 


Replay 


18 


JudyBelfield 


Birthday 


4 


Maria Mellinger 


We've Rubber Cemented 


18 


Jacque Klika 


Before the Dawn 


5 


Nels Nelson 


Dancing In Blue, Playing 




Jacque Lkika 


After the Tide Goes Out 


5 




To Yellow 


18 


J. Ardith Cox 


Exhausted 


5 


Sherry Gunderman 


My Heart Can't Tell You 




JudyBelfield 


Becoming Old 


"6 




No 


18 


Dawn Simmons 


An End 


6 


JudyBelfield 


Sport 


19 


ShondaTalerico 


The Past 


6 


Sherry Gunderman 


The Date 


19 


JudyBelfield 


Dog Day 


7 


Norma Dodge 


A Love Story 


21 


Rich Goberville 


The Rabbits on My 




Rich Goberville 


Why I Write About Love 


21 




Shelf 


7 


Rich Goberville 


Security 


21 


Norma Dodge 


The Life and Loves of a 




Sherry Gunderman 


Three Year Anniversary 


22 




Yuppie 


8 


MelyndaFindlay 


A New Car 


22 


Dawn Simmons 


Beaches 


8 


David L. Sullivan Jr. 


Soweto Road: A Story 




Sherry Gunderman 


Rotorelief 


8 




of the American 




Nels Nelson 


Uneducable 


9 




Near Future 


23 


Maria Mellinger 


While He Remained 




Kim Vollmer 


California 


24 




Limited 


9 


Nels Nelson 


Colombia 


25 


Joseph M. Nahas 


Cowboy Bob 


9 • 


Kim Vollmer 


Captain America Shoes 


25 


Rich Goberville 


Friends 


9 


ShondaTalerico 


The China Doll 


26 


J. Ardith Cox 


Silence 


9 









Dawn Simmons 



ShondaTalerico 



WINDOW WATCHING 



Snowflakes gathered 

to dance on my windowsill. 

They waited 

but heard no applause. 

J. Ardith Cox 

HEADLINES 

"Three- Year-Old Boy trapped in Apartment Blaze" 

"Hurricane Claims 250 Carolina Residents" 

"Quake Ratdes California; 75+ Death Toll" 

-These lives were taken away.-- 

'Two Teen Found Dead: Carbon Monoxide Responsible" 

"Hollywood Star Loses Life To AIDS Virus" 

"U. S. Abortions Reach All-Time High In '87" 

-These lives were given away.- 

q nrrxp 

I Ardith Cox 

HOME-I-CIDE 

A man 

takes the life of a human being. 
Now he 

eats full meals twice a day... 
sleeps in a warm bed every night... 
wears clean clothing... 

and lives behind bars. 

Another 

loses his job to modern technology. 
Now he 

eats rubbish out of garbage cans... 
sleeps on yesterday's news... 
wears discarded clothing... 

and lives in a cardboard box. 



OBSESSION 

Leaves jumping from the trees 

In their autumn suicide. 

I won't waste another minute crying. 

But the lights are going out. 
I start again. 

You are gone, 

I can't let you go 

I want to hold you in this darkness. 

It was only late last night 
I knew we were through 
When I began to know 
That you believed it, too. 

I say I don't love you, 
But I'm watching the past 
Play in my mind 
Like a lonely album 
Repeating the groove. 

Was it love? 

Preserving you by my side, 
I dust off the glass shards 
Appearing when I smashed you 
Against the wall, 
I hold your copy close to my heart. 

Laughing to myself, 

I will make this spell last forever, 

In the bed of my life, 
We've got all night. 

When I think about it all 
As I spin the loaded chamber. 

ixconaxi 



-Prisons are like mansions to the homeless.- 



cccpxcp 



-1- 



Paul Pritchett 

EXPERIMENT 538-4A 

This is a story. The story begins by introducing the 
main characters. The characters engage in some 
humorous, romantic, sad, melancholy, angry, passionate, 
sexual, tiresome, boring, crazy, and monotonous times. 
I introduce another character who tries to stop them. 
He/she/they fail. The characters grow old and die 

00X0333 

Nels Nelson 

FROM DOCUMENTARY 

The old womenmen took their laundry out to the stones, 

The holy stones by the river, 

As some red-grey cold slimed in and set itself down 

In everyone's head, 

Every one's head. 

They all smiled, how pure they looked. 

They exorcised demons from pants and shirts, 

Beating them on the rocks. 

Spare the rod and spoil... 

Cleanliness is next to... 

What is so wonderful about being next to? 

Now let me set something straight for myself, excuse 

me, 

It'll take a second. 

Man created God in his image? 

Oh bother, we do worship in peculiar ways, 

Maybe I need a nap. 

I want to beat up my clothes clean, 

I'm not kidding now, something is missing, 

God is not in our washing machine. 

133333333 

Sherry Gunderman 



IMAGERY 



Blueprints 
of a mansion 
and teardrops 
of a grown child 
Show a world 
of love and hate 
joy and sorrow 
for what it truly is. 



Sherry Gunderman 

NINETEEN-EIGHTY-SIX 

The moon 

chased us 

as our car passed cornfields 

and farmhouses. 

We hid from the future 

and ignored the past 

Our juvenile sides surfaced 

and we played tag 

in the dusty arena 

of the stable. 

We scared each other 

with ghost stories 

that we had secretly exaggerated 

and laughed at our pretended fright. 

The music from our generation 

echoed from the car speakers 

as we waited for the heater to kick in 

and we carved a jack-o- lantern together, 

playing surgeon, 

and throwing orange intestines at each other. 

We whispered "goodnight" 

at your door 

and the wind blew our icy-white words 

away down the street. 

And my heart ached with supreme happiness 

at the fact that it HAD been a "Good Night," 

and that perfection wasn't reserved 

strictly for the Mature. 

[.ixx.xxrn 

Norma Dodge 

GROSSLY EUPHEMISTIC 

To fart is to flatulate, 
To spit is to expectorate, 
To puke is to regurgitate, 
To belch is to eructate, 
To piss is to urinate, 
To shit is to defecate, 
To f is to copulate. 

Fart, spit, puke, shit, 
Piss and belch and f . 



The first six are only natural 
As for the last-good luck! 



133333333 



0033333 3 



Sherry Gunderman 
THE PAPERBACK 

She went into the bookstore. He followed her at a 
safe distance-so much so that she didn't know she was 
being trailed. He stood by the magazines and watched 
her scan through the fiction. She went to the 
information desk, and he ducked behind the cards and 
figurines. He eavesdropped terribly. 

"Do you have A Room With A View by E. M. 
Forster?" she inquired of the clerk. 

"Did you..." and he began to motion with his arm. 

"No." she interrupted. "It wasn't in the fiction." 

"We don't have it then. I haven't seen it around since 
the movie. Do you want me to order it for you?" he 
asked politely while his eyebrows danced with 
expression. 

"No, thank you," she replied, and turned to leave. 
She hesitated to say goodbye to the kind salesperson. 

"Bye-bye now!" and the information man waved. 
She began to leave. He went to the information desk. 

" A Room With A View? " he questioned. His 
question was insensible, but was somehow translated by 
the man behind the desk. 

"It's a love story about an English couple at the turn 
of the centuy. It's wonderful. The movie's fantastic." 
And he walked away humming. 

He took a call card and wrote the title on it. Setting 
the pen that he used down, he turned to leave. She was 
standing in the doorway. She had heard everything and 
observed it all. He studied his shoes in brief 
embarrassment. She smiled a genuine smile meant for 
him alone, and disappeared into the bustle of the mall 
crowds. 

{.rxxxxxn 



Sherry Gunderman 
APRIL 



Yes. 

Maybe. 

Definitely 

not. 
Today. Tonight. 
Calculations. 
A green pen. 

Michigan State University. 
No. 

Old song. Old tune. 
Nonexistent. 

Are my paintings still in your room? 
Your face haunts me. 
Your memories tease me. 
He is more 

than you could dream to be. 
He 

is brilliant 
and witty. 

But not as funny. ..as you. 
Green pen. 
Red eyes. 
Yelldw sun. 
Blue tears. 
Full--for memory. 

ni»'rm 



Maria Mellinger 
MY SARCASTIC SUMMER 



Dawn Simmons 
WHEN AUTUMN PASSED 



My sarcastic summer 

1942 

Sleep was death's brother 

And I joined you, 

Draft-bait, 

In dreams. 



CQXDX D 



Before my steps 

could crunch the leaves 

the wind 

took them away. 

In my mind I knew 

they had to go; 

In my heart 

I wished they would stay. 



000X3003 



Judy Belfield 

THE FIRST OF OCTOBER 

This day soft yellow 

slides through the blinds 

lengthwise 

gently oozes through the slats 

like a whispered prayer. 

A confession 

lies in my memory 

as silken as the morning's fingers. 

We are afraid 

of sudden moves— 

the sunlight and I. 

Remembering yesterdays 

pierced with shrieks 

in the darkness 

spattered with blood 

we glide carefully- 

a slow-motion rippling of chiffon 

through time 

we've yet to know. 

Now soft, now yellow, 

words rest in the soul 

jaundiced with disease. 

tXCCOXP 

Maria Mellinger 

MAKING WISHES 

Making wishes 

With small change- 

A well full of pennies 

And hopeless unneeded nickels— 

Somewhere, 

The tally is being kept, 

And maybe the millionth customer 

Will be satisfied. 

aXEEECP 



Joseph M. Nahas 

MERRY CHRISTMAS 

Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas 
It's that time of year. 
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas 
The kids are full of cheer. 
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas 
Here comes that fat ol' man. 
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas 
Ringing the bell in his mittened hand. 
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas 
He asked me for some dough. 
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas 
I kneed him down below. 

oaxoaxi 

Judy Belfield 

BIRTHDAY 

Sunlight bows low 

in a blaze 

and winks into purple black. 

Redheaded trees 

toss their October tresses 

in sudden whips of wind. 

My breath, suspended for a moment, 

returns with Melancholy, 

a lifelong companion 

which has been absent this time 

for what seemed would be 

forever. 

Inevitably, it comes back. 

Only last week I daydreamed 

what it might be like 

to take someone's breath away... 

there is no real connection here — 

my thoughts often slip 

from a word today 

to something yesterday cannot release. 

A choking sadness 

asks me to consider 

the beauty of this day 

and wonder who will not be here 

to see it again next year 

and why. 



mcaxra 



Jacque Klika 

BEFORE THE DAWN 

Strings of twinkling colored lights 

magically reflected the joy 
of robe clad children. 

Tiptoeing 
before the dawn 
they crept 
silently 
one 

Christmas morn. 

Jacque Klika 

AFTER THE TIDE GOES OUT 

There was a time once, 

long ago, 

when I thought 

I knew you. 

We kicked off our shoes 

and walked through 

tide pools near the 

sea. And sometimes 

we'd venture to the 

shore and play tag 

with waves hitting 

the sandy beach. 

But always we were 

hand in hand. 

Together we faced the 

quiet peaceful times 

as well as the challenging 

moments that added spark. 

Always we found meaning 

in the times we shared and so now I wonder 

if our love was but an illusion 

...as the moon beams 

dancing 

oyer rippling waters, but 

then moving on. 

Will I have nothing left 

but memories...like shells left 

upon the shore after the tide goes out. 

nxxxxxra 



J. Ardith Cox 
EXHAUSTED 

I'm tired of trying 

To catch the dreams I'll never get. 
I'm tired of crying 

About the goals not reached, but set. 

I'm tired of holding 

The bits of life I know must go. 
I'm tired of molding 

The perfect world I'll never know. 

I'm tired of waiting 

For paths to change and come my way. 
I'm tired of hating 

The shameful words I sometimes say. 

I'm tired of giving 

My heart to one who doesn't care. 
I'm tired of living 

A life where happy times are rare. 

I'm tired of walking 

Away from problems far and near. 
I'm tired of talking 

To people who will never hear. 

I'm tired of seeing 

The hurt and pain Man can't avoid. 
I'm tired of being 

A person whom this world's destroyed. 

I'm tired of choosing 

To show the feelings I should hide. 
I'm tired of losing 

The battles I have waged inside. 

I'm tired... 

f tvv y y y ii 






-5- 



Judy Belfield 

BECOMING OLD 

The ripest, richest moments 

last as long as 

we are able to breathe 

their delicately fleeting scents; 

wisps of time 

aged to superlative edge 

razor sharp against our necks, 

the potential for life 

as intense 

as for annihilation. 

I have withstood such moments; 

knowing the danger, 

invited return 

and waited again 

and again. 

When the summer reeks 

of its prematurely dropped fruits 

(forgotten pears split open 

and rotting in the heat) 

I wince from the sharp pain 

of a terrible memory 

I cannot reconstruct 

and would not dare. 

aznxm 



ShondaTalerico 

THE PAST 

Concerts 

with Jack Daniels tucked away 

1976 Caprice Classic 

with stains on the back seats 

Narrow couches 
made for two 

Cherished love notes 
on tattered looseleaf 

Public displays of affection 
flirting in detentions 

Musical Christmas cards 
alley kats and nikki 

Pink Floyd 
the wall 

Majestic Pegasus 
satin sheets 



Dawn Simmons 



AN END 



Innocence was left untouched 

as a goodbye triggered 

the death 

of a dream just begun. 

I reached to touch your lips 

for the last time 

and watched 

as my reflection 

trickled down your cheek. 



Homecoming dances 
crumpled corsages 

Soft back rubs 

soiled handkerchiefs 

"What happened to it all?' 
I ask myself 

As I wake up next to 
last night's guy 



rarxaxp 



axaxca 



Judy Belfield 

DOG DAY 

Day stretches out like 

big old dog 

in August 

toothless, lop-eared, dusty, 

heavy with fur. 

Dog's lower jaw 

hangs slack 

saliva drooling. 

Eyes have a dumb look 

wet, palooka-like, 

appearing, disappearing 

under dull brown lids. 

After awhile 

secret entertainment begins. 

A far-off dream plays; 

dog twitches, switches its tail, 

yips, yaps, squeals 

then setdes 

into a deathlike state 

wrapped up in 

thick smell. 

Stays that way for hours. 

axxmrxi 

Rich Goberville 

THE RABBITS ON MY SHELF 

When I got home from work one day I went straight 
to my room. I threw my jacket on my bed and lay down 
next to it. I wondered how customers could be so rude. 
Like it was my fault the store was out of everything that 
was on sale. My weary eyes ventured to my shelf above 
my bed, and I noticed a little white porcelain rabbit 
sitting there between my clock radio and my comb. It 
had never been up there before, so I wondered where it 
could have come from. It reminded me of the real rabbit 
I had when I was younger. I had this little leash 'for it, 
and sometimes I would take it out of its cage and walk it 
in my backyard. Though I wouldn't really call it 
"walking," my rabbit , because it just sat there and 
nibbled on the grass and enjoyed the fresh summer 
breeze. If it were lucky, it would find a clover patch and 
feast on all the little flowers. Then when it finally 
finished eating, it would come near my face and tickle 
me with its whiskers. Sometimes I thought that was 
actually the best part of my summer days—when I would 
just lay next to my rabbit and forget about everything 

-7- 



else. 

But where did this rabbit on my shelf come from? I 
went downstairs to ask my mom and she told me that 
my dad got it for me. I went down to the basement 
where he was lifting weights and said a quick "Thank 
you." I really didn't know how to say thanks, though, 
because I didn't even know why he gave me the rabbit. 
It was no holiday or anything special that day. I 
expected a little explanation for why he gave it to me, 
but he just said a quick, "You're welcome." 

So I was left wondering why he gave me the rabbit. 
Maybe it was that he noticed I had been depressed lately, 
and it was his way of saying, "You'll make it." Or 
maybe it was his way of saying, "I love you." But no 
matter what he meant by it, it made me feel warm. For 
that day, I felt as if my dad and I could understand each 
other perfectly, which was odd because usually I feel as 
though we live in different worlds. 

Since that day, my dad has given me a few more 
rabbits. One is a carved wooden one that is stained a 
dark brown. Another one is a giant ceramic one that is 
all white. They just appear in my room for no apparent 
reason. Every time I look at the rabbits on my shelf, 
they kind of make me happy because I remember that 
my father cares for me. But they can also make me sad, 
because they also symbolize the lack of real 
communication between us. Our typical conversation 
for the day runs like this: My dad asks, "Are you going 
to the health club?" and I say, "No, I don't have time." 
Period. That's the whole conversation. Sometimes I 
wish'ive would talk more, but I really don't think he 
understands me as well as I would like him to. I'm the 
son he tries so hard to understand, but never quite can. 
Maybe because he was so much different when he was 
my age. I'm sure he wonders why I sit on my bed and 
try to write poetry, instead of going to the health club to 
lift weights and get massive muslces. And I'm sure he 
wonders why I never tried out for football or baseball in 
my life. Sure, I would play a game of football with the 
neighborhood kids, but I think he would have liked me 
to join a real team. 

Sometimes I wish I could explain all of this--try to 
let him inside of my thoughts for just awhile, but I 
never seem to get the words out. One day I was 
thinking about how little my dad and I really talk. So I 
decided that I would tell him how much I appreciated 
him. I thought of this when I was at the mall with a 
friend and saw a boy and his father talking like they were 
best friends. Then I walked past a card shop and saw a 
little Indian statue in a display case. That was one thing 
I knew about my dad. I knew he liked Indians. He has 

(continued) 



The Rabbits on My Shelf, continued 



Dawn Simmons 



loads of Indian books and even some Indian pictures on 
his bedroom wall. I went into the card shop and bought 
the little Indian. 

When I got home, I set it on top of the television set 
in his bedroom. He came home alter that night, and 
when he saw the statue, my mom quickly mentioned 
that I had put it there. (I could hear, because my 
bedroom is right next to theirs.) He came to my room 
to say thank you, and I said, "You're welcome." Then 
there was a silence that grew more disturbing by the 
moment. Finally, my dad said, "Well, see you in the 
morning," and I just said, "Sure." I couldn't believe that 
I was so embarrassed that I couldn't even tell him why I 
gave him the Indian, like I planned to do. The words 
just stuck to the roof of my mouth like a spoonful of 
peanut butter. When my dad finally left my room, after 
what seemed forever, I had just one thought on my 
mind. Why is intimacy so hard for us? 

axEcma 

Norma Dodge 

THE LIFE AND LOVES OF A YUPPIE 

Oh, for the life of a yuppie 
Porsche, Jacuzzi, Shih Tzu puppy, 
To trade one's Olds for a Mercedes 
To dress in furs one's favorite ladies. 

A yuppie's wife is called a yummie. 
No more than two shall call her "mummy." 
Golf and tennis, shops at Bloomie's 
Keeps in touch with college "roomies." 

Only the best address will do them. 
Ten rooms is only a cottage to them. 
Tennis court and swimming pool, 
Nanny, nursery, private school. 

Oh, for the life of a yuppie. 
Porsche, Jacuzzi, Shih Tzu puppy, 
Material objects must be won, 
The race goes on and on and on. 

nxxnrxn 



BEACHES 

I can remember 

sitting by the downstairs fireplace 

during those frosty nights, 

talking (sometimes til three), 

eating popcorn and watching the fire 

(it sometimes made us cry). 

And I can remember 

scraping the ice off the windows of my car, 

the moonlight turning the snow 

into fields of glitter, 

and you scribbling "bye" with your finger 

on the fogged-up glass of your front door. 

And I can remember 

driving home and feeling so grateful 

that I had such a wonderful person 

for a best friend. 

We've gone through so much change, 

and it's almost winter again. 

Will there be any frosty night this year? 

uxoTxn 

Sherry Gunderman 

ROTORELIEF 

Others 

see you in the hall. 

And ignore you. 

Your fast-paced figure 

Your downcast eyes. 

You might as well 

be invisible 

in their world. 

In mine, 

you are the sun 

that is hidden 

behind the many clouds 

shrouding my day, hopes 

and dreams. 

You are not reality. 

Reality yells. 

You whisper. 

Reality blatandy battles 

your subtlety. 

Good luck in Boston. 

I hear New England 

is beautiful 

in the fall. 






Nels Nelson 



UNEDUCABLE 



Rich Goberville 



I walk the floors, 

These hardwood floors, 

Splinters setting in the soles of my feet. 

Each prick I feel, 

Each gorgeous drop of blood I shed, 

Represents a lesson well taught. 

But I am such a poor student, 

I cannot learn, 

So over the same rough spots I tread. 

I, the stupid man, 

Soon will become rotting, grey meat. 

Only then will I know of life, 

Only then will I respect the floor, 

After I've picked up all the splinters, 

And have bled the final drop, 

When I wilt to the floor, 

Empty, dead 

qma:x:ia:i 

Maria Mellinger 

WHILE HE REMAINED LIMITED 

While he remained limited 

Space-wise, 

He expanded 

Mind-wise, 

Eternally internal, 

Until the exterior's enemy 

Broke through. 

cixximm 



FRIENDS 

Burrs in my hair 

Lincoln Logs 

Rocks in the pool 

Franks's lunch to the neighborhood dog 

Drinking swigs of vinegar (Yuck!) 
Playing tackle football 
Egging Fat Ed's 
Three man softball 

Swimming at Doc's 
Cushion fights in your basement 
Tearing down your elaborate fort 
(You didn't kill me, to my amazement) 

Playing ping-pong behind our backs 
Hide and Seek in the dark 
Days spent at Minneoka 
Fires started with just a spark 

Your garden in the woods 

(Which, to your doubts, I did not destroy) 

Catching turtles in the pond 

And snakes, which was your true joy 

You getting into fights with Greg 
As I watched his tears 
Acom fights at the bus stop 
You getting me a job at Sears 



Joseph M. Nahas 

COWBOY BOB 

Cowboy Bob, a jig and a job 

Jumped on his horse and soon felt the throb 

With a scream and a shout then a whoop-a-dee-dee 

He flew off his horse and fell to his knees. 

Bob tried to get up, but the pain was too much 

But he understood he couldn't hold a glutch. 

With a yip and a yipe and a strutter-strut 

Bob pulled himself if somewhat up. 

Cowboy Bob didn't see Black Barney that day 

For his hands were on the wrong trigger and they would 

stay. 
Cowboy Bob was blasted. 



H » ¥ ¥ UTTI 



And then Time passed 

As it always seems to do 

But just one night of playing pool reminded me 

I still have a friend in you 



I IX xx xx « 



J. Ardith Cox 



SILENCE 



'Silence is a friend who will never betray."~Confucius 
"Silence is an enemy once betrayed."~J. Ardith Cox 



03X0333 



-9- 



Joseph M. Nahas 

INTRO... 

Sometimes you just have to pay, in order to win. 
When you have to invest in your problem, you want the 
best; someone who will get the job done, clean and 
effectively. There is one group that you can trust to 
fulfill your extermination deeds. That group is 
Maximum Bodycount Incorporated. M.B.I. 



Maria Mellinger 
JUST AS AN ENEMY 



cnxa xo 

Rich Goberville 

QUESTIONS 

As I finally get in a comfortable position 

to read a book, 

you frighten me out of my serenity 

as you jump on my lap. 

I want to push you back off, 

but not wanting you to feel unloved 

I allow you to stay 

and relax as comfortably as I used to be. 

You nuzzle your head against me, 

as if you need me, 

and then you quickly doze off. 

I watch you 

in your peaceful sleep 

and start to wonder 

all these crazy thoughts. 

I wonder if you ever feel sad, 

or if you ever get bored 

the way I sometimes do. 

But most of all 

I wonder if you feel love. 

Can you feel love? 

Just as my entire existence 

is lost in thoughts, 

you jump off my lap. 

A fly buzzing by disturbed your nap 

and you decide to chase it. 

What silly thoughts I have. 

You just proved that you are 

just a "cat." 

I watch you chase the fly 

until your get bored. 

Soon afterwards, 

you jump back up on my lap 

nuzzling your head against me, 

as if you need me. 

axn xoa 



Just as an enemy 

Gives thought of a friend, 

The winter brings dreams 

Of the summer, 

The work makes the waste 

Worthwhile; 

My turmoil is necessary 

To appreciate the peace. 



axcrrrc 
Dawn Simmons 
WHAT IF...? 



Things really clicked 
in the beginning 
But you feared 
a painful ending 
So we had no middle 
And I was left 
with nothing. 



CCXXXXXX3 



Rich Goberville 

WHAT TO SAY 

I won't say that I can't live without you 

Because I've been caught in that trap 

When someone said they needed me 

And I didn't care for them 

But I pretended that I needed them too 

Just to make them feel good 

But soon the truth came out 

And then we both felt like fools 

No, I won't say that I can't live without you 

I won't even say I care 

I'll just say I love you 

And just leave it at that 

Because saying I love you says it all 

It's not saying "Please don't leave me" 

It's just saying "I want you to stay," 

But only if you love me too" 



-10- 




J. Ardith Cox 



THEY TELL ME 



They tell me 
How Time 
Distance, 

And Loneliness 
Will tear us apart. 
You tell me 
That Love 

Can make this Dream 
Survive. 

They tell me 
How Love, 
Life, 

And Happiness 
Will fade from our hearts. 
You tell me 
That Dreams 

Can keep this Flame 
Alive. 

They tell me 
How Pride, 
Want, 

And Selfishness 
Will not let Love last. 
You tell me 
That Fate 

And join two hearts 
As one. 

They tell me 
How People 
Places, 

And Things 
Will bring back the past. 
You tell me 
That Nothing 

Can stop a Love 
Begun. 

Some things they say 
Seem to tell me 
They don't care. 
Everything you say 
Seems to tell me 
You love me. 



axcoxp 



-11- 



Kim Vollmer 

KNOW OF ME 

Comforted by crickets outside my window. 

They remind me that I am safe from 

the person I used to be. 

I will not dodge your questions. 

I am protected by time. 

I do not ask you what you need 

Only to dangle it before your eyes. 

They say you have to hide your love away. 

I can't 

You will know of me 

from the most reliable source, 

Yourself. 

03330003 

Clariece Henne 
FEARS 

Last week saw the passing of Halloween for another 
year. It seems there is always a lot of speculation about 
what it is that makes us fearful. The "Ten O'Clock 
News" nightly serves us a banquet of fears to choose 
from, if by chance we are having any difficulty finding 
them on our own. Take your pick: nuclear war, total 
damage of the environment, a mounting deficit. These 
fears seem somewhat remote, albeit real. Standing just a 
few nile markers from my half-century past, taking a 
good look around me~and also looking back-I'd have to 
say I've pretty well conquered any fears I've had. 
Although "conquered" may be a somewhat strong word. 
It conjures up a picture of someone who has done battle 
with great fears and has overcome them. My fears are 
ordinary fears shared by practically everyone I've every 
met: fear of the dark, fear of losing a loved one, fear of 
failure. Oh, I'm not trying to make my reader believe 
that these fears still don't raise their ugly heads 
occasionally. I'm just here to say that with practice I've 
learned to slap them down when they do. Consequendy, 
I had the feeling that if I spent time writing about these 
fears, I would give them more credence than they 
deserve. So I choose instead to acquaint my reader with 
three things that make me feel secure. 

We live in a big old farmhouse. In the fall when the 
weather turns cold, an army of mice line up with duffle 
bags in tow waiting for their chance to bivouac in my 
house. This place has become so popular, the invastion 
so complete, that a call to the big guns to see about 
extermination seemed timely. Well, now I know how 

(continued) 






Fears, continued 



the big guns attained their status-by charging king-size 
fees. We simply could not afford their services. I did 
not actively seek out the services of a cat, although the 
thought had entered my mind. I thought the problem 
was too big for one cat. An army of mice certainly 
could not be eradicated by one general. 

One night, in a dreadful rainstorm, I heard a pitiful 
sound coming from my back-porch step. When I went 
to investigate, I found a tiny wet creature sorely in need 
of a good meal. A kitten. I brought her in, dried her off 
and fed her. My thoughts at the time did not go beyond 
giving her shelter and a meal to this stranger. But one 
day led to another and soon weeks had gone by. The 
Kitten became known as T.K. and it became crystal clear 
that our family had just increased by one. 

What does all this have to do with feeling secure? 
Well that tiny homeless creature grew daily in stature, 
catching mouse after mouse until it was obvious she 
was the general I'd been looking for. The army was on 
the run, and soon had retreated entirely. So, I'm quite 
secure in the knowledge that my home will not be 
invaded and held under siege again. It's also a 
comfortable feeling to curl up on the sofa with a good 
book and T.K. purring on my lap— something I would 
not have cared to do with the Orkin man. 

Speaking of curling up with a good book brings to 
mind another thing that makes me feel secure. My 
bookshelves filled with books. (I just can't abide 
bookshelves with plants and sculptures and photographs. 
Bookshelves are for books.) 

Once upon a time, several years ago, I can't bear to 
count them, we had a snowstorm that dumped tons of 
snow on us. As I've mentioned before, I live in a big, 
old farmhouse. What I didn't say is that it's up a long 
lane, a lane that becomes impassable with only a couple 
of inches of snow. The amount of snow this particular 
storm dumped on us made the lane impossibly 
impassible. My family members were scattered hither 
and yon. Not one of them could make it home, and of 
course, there was no way for me to make it out. I 
listened to the weatherman report gleefully that the snow 
would continue, to be joined by high winds. This went 
on for days. I was secure in the knowledge that whatever 
he could dish out, I could take, because I had those 
shelves full of books. In fact, the storm became a 
welcome intruder into my daily life. Now I would have 
the chance to curl up on the sofa for endless hours to 
read without feeling guilty about not cooking supper or 
washing dirty socks. But all good things come to an 
end, and after four days, the snowplow came lumbering 



up the road. Soon to be followed by the school bus. 

School busses-there is my third example of things 
that make me feel secure. Each morning as I sit by the 
window drinking my morning tea, planning my day, I 
watch the school bus go by. Some mornings it stops, 
the door opens, and gobbles up the little red-jacketed boy 
I sent down the lane. Some mornings it's a little bit 
bigger green-jacketed boy this huge yellow creature 
gobbles up. In nice weather when the windows are 
open, I can hear the reassuring hum of the engine that 
powers it on its way. I feel good every time I see the 
bus chugging down the road. I can't explain why, even 
though I have given it a lot of thought. The closest I 
can come to an explanation is this: No matter what I 
may have heard on the 'Ten O'Clock News" to scare me 
to death, it's morning now and the methodical yellow 
beast is working its way up and down all the country 
roads, collecting our most treasured possessions. I know 
life will go on for at least another day. And the morning 
I don't see it, unless of course it's a holiday or the snow 
is up to my eyebrows again-that's the morning I'll 
begin to feel a real fear. 

rrrrrrrri 

Nels Nelson 

HEY, GOD 

A caffeine tick- 
Why is it always so late 
When I look at the clock? 
Why does smoke taste better 
And the music sound tenfold more soulful? 
That damn clock. 
Shut up! I'm not ready for sleep. 
Is it here where I will find my god? 
Here, between a bedtime I don't believe in, 
And my first class, which I'll skip? 
Why is night so much more than day? 
Is it darkness and solitude? 
The lights are on, my house is full. 
Could it be the moon? 

Romantic fool, the moon has been written into death. 
Then why the night? Tell me soon, 
The price of a night is rising, 
And I still have no answers. 
Who is this nowhere man? 



-12- 



Judy Belfield 

SHOWDOWN 

Your eyes fixed in 

a too-long stare 

the green blurring before me 

narrowing as pupils expand 

locking up the me I was 

a moment before 

tossing out all trace of humor 

for this deadly confrontation: 

a secret dare you issue 

without a word 

(humiliating my sense of what's what, 

challenging me to run, to speak, 

but I will not). 
We wait 

smoldering, stubborn; 
perhaps time will suddenly 
open up and scream 
til our eardrums split. 
This never happens. 
Instead, one of us always 
looks away. 

mtm -rra 

Mike Carter 

EVILDOER 
CHAPTER 1: THE WOMAN 

She paced inside the building of the gas station. She 
had her money in hand and as she walked back and forth, 
expressing her anger at the attendant she waved it around. 
Several times as she turned, she almost knocked one of 
the candy racks over. 

Elmer was about to jump over the counter when he 
saw this. His station was his most prized possession in 
the world. He didn't want any woman messing things 
up. He could have seen this woman coming. When she 
put her gas in her car herself, she had been complaining 
to the air. Now she was complaining to him about the 
state that a country would have to be in to make a 
woman of her caliber pump her. own gas and almost 
break a nail. He made every attempt to calm her. Under 
his breath, he even offered to kiss her feet if she would 
just leave him alone. 

The woman's tirade about the dispensing of gasoline 
escalated. To her, though, this was no speech about gas. 
It was her personal crusade for everyone to treat her like 



Nels Nelson 

FOR AN OLD SOUL 

Again I find myself 

Wanting to give to yourself. 

But what? 

Ink and paper? 

No, I have more, just let me look for it 

Things are so unkempt, you see. 

To give, but how? 

Oh, I'm just a boy. 

But what a boy! 

No, a just-boy. 

Just a boy who has learned 

to fall quietly, 

To be a fool 

Quietly. 

axrx rxo 



a queen. She treated every subject the same way. Every 
time she had to open a door for herself or pull a chair out 
to sit down, she would start up a long argument with the 
nearest man about common courtesy. With her being an 

extremely unattractive woman, this happened a lot. 

The woman's anger began to transfer to Elmer. 
Enough is enough, he thought. What is so important 
about the pumping of gas? He broke off the woman in 
mid-sentence. "Please, Miss. Would you just pay and 
leave already?" He took a step back and waited for a 
reaction. 

To this, the woman practically exploded in anger. 
What right did this little peasant of a man have to insult 
her in this way? Fed up with the man, she threw the 
money at him and stormed to the door. As she left, she 
knocked the candy rack over that she had previously 
bumped. 

Elmer stood thinking for a moment. Before he had 
had some doubts, but that final antic of knocking over 
the candy rack proved it. He had to go to higher 
authority on this one. He gathered up the money and 
walked to the back room. He sat at the altar. With a 
wooden match cut from a 666-year-old tree on Friday the 
13th, he lit the thirteen candles that formed a semi-cirlce 
in front of him. He hummed a tune in a deep voice and 
said a few words of Latin needed to summon the Lord of 
the Flies. Soon, he would come. 



■13- 



axaxca 



Sherry Gunderman 
FATE 



I can cry 
a thousand tears 
for the one 
who'll never hear 

But for you 
I'll simply sing 
this silent song 

Far away 
and long ago 
I left him standing 
in the snow 

But you are different 
because it's summer 
in our world 

And if my mention 
of the past 
caused your eyes 
to downwards cast 

I'm sorry 
I never meant 
to hurt your pride 



He is gone 
and you are here 
the message 
is so clear 

But I know the truth 

and fate 

will have its way 

When you go 
I will not cry 
Don't look back 
I'll dry my eyes 

Have fun 
going abroad 
But think of me 

Because your face 
will haunt me too 
and knowing you're 
with someone new 

Will hurt 
As I'm destined 
To walk alone. 



Sherry Gunderman 
SURREALISM 



Why 

are you alone? 
You walk to 
class & swing 
your bag 
and take large 
steps 

to make your height 
seem more 
and to accommodate 
your stride. 
You move so quickly 
that others 



may not try 
to see though your 
transparent spirit. 
Don't slow down- 
movement and action 
baffle the eye. 
And you 
can remain 
anonymous... 
forever. 



axraxp 



■14- 



Maria Mellinger 
YOU CAN GET ANOTHER 



You can get "another" 
Of almost anything 
In this world. 
It's the attachment 
To the "one" 
That makes it special. 



ixoaxoa 



Paul Pritchett 



ZEN FRENCH FRY 



I think it's 
really interesting 
how you don't 
have to mention 
the title of 
a poem, in 
the poem itself. 



OXCOXP 



Maria Mellinger 
A SWEET SILENCE 



A sweet silence 

On the phone; 

And in the background, 

The laughter of others 

In the room... 

Your breathing, 

An occasional heavy sigh; 

My favorite conversation.., 



OXCOXP 



ShondaTalerico 

GOD, I'M STARVING 

Rover gulps down Gravy Train 

As a family chokes down their meal of grain 

At the feast delicious desserts are passed 

As dry bread crumbs are divided to make them last 

"GOD, I'M STARVING!" belched the fat man. 
"God, I'm starving," implored the dirty waif. 

Half -chewed sandwiches tossed by the street 
As hungry children wish for a hunk of meat 
Slippery popcorn tossed around the show 
Barren fields where nothing will grow 

"GOD, I'M STARVING!" 
"God, I'm starving." 

Day-old donuts are trashed 
Bums retrieve dinner before it's smashed 
Baseball hot dogs bought for $5 
Mama's thin milk won't keep baby alive 

"GOD, I'M STARVING!" 
"God,*I'm starving." 

Catching butter sauce dribbling down his chin 
Charity clatters in the rusty tin 
Stuffing Twinkies into shopping bags 
Finding lunch among soiled rags 

"GOD, I'M STARVING!" 
"God, I'm starving." 

Caramel crushed in a sidewalk groove 
Mama's baby won't move 
Catsup covers a crispy fry 
A hopeless tear hovers in her eye 

"GOD, I'M STARVING!" 
"God, I'm starving." 

oxaxoa 



■15- 



Sherry Gunderman 

THE CAFETERIA 

The deepness of the moment 

suffocated her. 

She bit her lip 

and pretended to ignore 

his stupidity. 

She left, 

without a backwards glance, 

and cursed him 

into eternal damnation 

for all of his cruel ignorance. 

Her stride picked momentum. 

She hated the anonymous blond 

She hated her friend 

She hated him 

And she hated herself-for caring. 

"Why is this HAPPENING??" 

She demanded of the air. 

No reply came. 

The Future stood at the door waiting patiently for her 

And she walked past him. 

arrxrxo 

Maria Mellinger 

IN A MOST DIRTY 

In a most dirty, 
Childish, and 
Vindictive way, 
I have snatched 
My friendship back 
From you, 
And hidden it 
In the alleyway. 
Maybe there 
It will find 
Fish bones 
Or pleasant felines 
To associate with, 
Which can be 
No worse 
Than you. 

OXEPXP 



Sherry Gunderman 

A MEETING WITH THE STRANGER 

I met him. 

The brown-eyed boy... 

with the beautiful hair 

that had one miniature braid 

skipping down the right side of his bangs. 

He complimented me 

that brown-eyed boy... 

he liked my sweater. 

"Sharp" was the quote. 

And I replied "thank you" in an innocent whisper. 

He knows. 

That brown-eyed boy knows 

that my heart beats faster when he's in the room. 

And he stared at me. 

The brown-eyed boy sure stared-- 

and saw my soul through his brown eyes. 

I only wish 

he was worth getting to know. 

CCCCOXP 

Kim Vollmer 

NO STRINGS 

no strings 

no attachment-no detachment 

no giving-no taking 

no staying-no leaving 

no charge-no refund 

no problem 

we don't have any strings 

in our relationship 

we have this invisible force 

we are surrounded by something 

that keeps us 

when we are together 

and holds us when we are 

apart 

no strings 

this is what we've become 

I don't feel bad when you're away 

but I don't feel good anymore 

rT until 



-16- 



1 



Sherry Gunderman 

ADOLESCENCE 

dusty country roads 

full harvest moons 

king-of-the-mountain 

mosquito bites 

ice-skating 

sunburn 

black and white movies 

snowball fights 

mayonnaise jars full of lightning bugs 

horse shows 

4-H 

picnics 

chlorine 

kittens 

snow angels 

com on the cob 

convertibles 

county fairs 

sleepovers 

scary stories 

inseparable friends 

Perfection 

Childhood. 

crmrm 

Nels Nelson 

WHOOOHOOHOOOO 

The music starts, oozing out of the speakers, 

Kisses me open mouth on the forehead, 

Sloppy, wet, luscious, 

Calling me across the world 

To far India, 

Farther, into space. 

Seductive, it wears a dress slit to the hip, 

"Do you want to dance?" 

Oh, I need to dance. 

"Then come with me, into me." 

She, my music, leads me, tickles, 

Smiling. 

God, I could piss my pants! 

"Don't postpone joy," she shrieks. 

My word! 

The final beats of a drum 

Lead me into spectral orgasm. 

CCPCOXO 



Sherry Gunderman 

THE STRANGER 

Things 

are strange. 

The long-awaited dream 

is now reality. 

Now... that happiness 

is around the comer 

(I can hear its footsteps & happy whisding) 

my eyes have a tendency 

to wander. 

My green eyes 

stray to his brown ones 

And I admire 

his hair-his stance~his style. 

He captures me 

and smiles with interest. 

I feel overwhelming lashes 

of shame and guilt 

for studying a stranger's features 

when my future 

is waiting at the door. 

axxxxxn 



Peace 
FRONT DESK 

4 

One more shot 

that's all I got 

'til I go back to hell 

If you need to get in 

a tad more gin 

just ring the little bell 

An eight hour shift 

then I will drift 

into an astral week 

Hump day comes 

to jazz the ones 

diligent to meet 

weekend flies 

through lazy skies 

my head fills with games 

Night tolls on 

the clock says "BONG" 

and billows out the names 

Names I will remember 

rrrrrnti 



-17- 



■mmJI 



Maria Mellinger 

THE BEST LAID PLANS 

The best laid plans 

Of the hunger artist 

Are plowed, devoured, destroyed 

By the tip of the doctor's 

Opera hat 

As he exits the hospital room. 

1 1 1 rxau 

Jacque Klika 

REPLAY 

Angry, hurtful 

words exchanged 

have left their wounds 

which memories refuse to forget. 

Years of pain 

surface again 

and again they slice through fragile egos. 

He said, she said... 

who remembers well? 

Yet over and over they play in future 

incidents. Our hope 

is built on sand 

when we can not 

forgive, forget. 

Instead... we replay 

again, and again. 

And who's to blame? 

rtrrrrrri 

Maria Mellinger 

WE'VE RUBBER CEMENTED 

We've rubber cemented 
Our lives together, 
Like two kindergarten 
Construction paper hearts. 
And the only trouble is that 
Gloppy stuff that peels off 
At the edges. 

ceo egg 



Nels Nelson 

DANCING IN BLUE, PLAYING TO YELLOW 

I see now 

Where Matisse found the yellow 

In jazz. 

The blue I could understand, 

And the black figure, of course, 

Dancing, 

But the yellow, it can't 

Just represent stars in 

Jazz air. 

It could have been 

The lick of light off of a horn, 

Or the musicians, dancing in blue, 

Do you see where I'm heading with this? 

It is all logical. 

What I'm trying to say 

Is that being a black figure 

Dancing in jazz blue, 

Is a soulless exercise 

Without a litde you, 

Yellow. 

nrmxo 

Sherry Gunderman 

MY HEART CAN'T TELL YOU NO 

The memories 

of last year 

have been chipping 

and blowing away 

on the winds of the present 

To the tempo 

of a solitary " 

guitar 

And the pattern 

of incessant 

teardrops. 

I IX XI EXP 



-18- 



Judy Belfield 

SPORT 

Hell is a baseball game 

in the city 

in July at night 

when there isn't a breeze 

and it's so hot 

the stars sweat 

and all the vendors' shirts 

are soaked through. 

The smell of hot dogs and beer 

and steamed cement 

are trapped in the smoke 

from a thousand cigarettes 

and hangs in a cloud 

under the lights. 

Sixth inning, 

kids squirm, some people are 

incredibly drunk; 

bats tick, clank, tick again; 

a whistle 

shoots out from 

the crowd's hum; 

a yell, another whistle, 

hum 

and then, a hit 

cheers, everybody stands 

the smoke cloud shifts slighdy 

the heat closes in 

strangles. 

This is hell. 

We love it. 

axonxp 

Sherry Gunderman 
THE DATE 

Brian wasn't really a Brian. Now, of course, he was, 
because that was his name-given at birth, the name was 
christened by, and the name that he had signed on his 
homework assignments since kindergarten. 

I studied the exquisite creature next to me as he 
shifted the navy Escort from first to second and imagined 
him with a soap-opera name. In MY mind, Brian was a 
Miles or Drew or Sebastian or Ashley. ..something 
exotic or hopelessly romantic that would send shivers of 
excitement up the spines of Folger's French Roast 
commercial producers and seduce Harlequin editors into 



-19- 



publication. 

Brian caught me staring and interrupted my 
daydreams with a logical question. 'Turn here?" 

"Yah," I answered. 

Brian had long hair...and when I say long I mean 
longer than shoulder length. He had a habit of pushing 
it behind his ears (where it never stayed) and then 
rubbing his nose where his glasses rested. 

Whatever glamour his name lacked, his impeccable 
style made up for. Brian was intellectual, worldly, and 
one-hundred percent artistic. He saw sculptures in old 
bedsprings that I would have given to Joe the garbage 
man without a second thought. I wondered why I never 
felt intimidated by his overwhelming knowledge of 
everything under the sun. Friends assured me that it was 
all quite logical: Opposites attract. I decided that he was 
no smarter than me...we simply never agreed on taste 
and style-therefore, we never ran out of things to debate 
about. 

This was our second date-our second excursion to 
Chicago, and our second day spent at art exhibits, he 
had done all the planning for this day. We were going to 
see the Andy Warhol exhibit that was on display at the 
Art Institute. He handed me a pre-paid ticket as we 
walked from the cavernous parking garage and into the 
blinding light of a June afternoon. 

We dodged traffic with urban expertise and walked up 
the shallow marble steps as the art connoisseurs we 
presumed ourselves to be. The exhibit was impressive. 
Brian and I stood next to each other and critiques 
Campbell's soup cans and criticized a purple Marilyn and 
cringed over grisly views of death in a kaleidoscope of 
colors. 

We walked through a room done completely in 
nauseatingly neon yellow with purple cow portraits 
smiling boldly out at us from their paper captivity. I 
snickered quietly as he shaded his eyes from the 
gaudiness of the room. Brian was a true comedian. Of 
course, I had to pry like a grave-robber to come to that 
conclusion. 

He was my biggest conquest. I drooled over his 
mystique for a semester in an art history class. I 
followed him and learned his schedule and giggled like a 
psychotic seventh-grader. I identified his truck and 
backpack and stealthy footsteps. I studied his profile and 
adored his dimples and knew what brand of gym shoes he 
wore. I fed my obsession by reading books that I saw 
him reading and tried to psychoanalyze his scribblings 
that were bound in a maroon notebook. 

Who he was and what he was about was the core of 
my being for a span of four months. Then (God forbid) 
I began to TALK to him. I interrupted his studies and 

(continued) 



The Date, continued 



made small talk that he elaborated on. The last day of 
class found us walking out together after our 
final...which was tremendously ironic because this WAS 
so final. ..and I bravely asked him for his telephone 
number. He gave it to me eagerly, handing me a pen and 
paper, and smiled "goodbye" as I blushed uncontrollably. 

Four days later I used that number, and he asked me 
to an art exhibit on Navy Pier, it was beautiful. It was 
impressive. And the clip from that day will haunt me 
forever was simply sitting on a bench that overlooked 
the lake and talking about life. The city of Chicago was 
on our right, and seagulls dove at the water in front of 
us. Church chimes tattled the hour and continued to 
play quiet hymns through the misty pink sky. 

We saw each other in the hall at summer school and 
spent hours laughing together over the phone. I knew 
that he had already graduated from our junior college 
with an Associates Degree, but wasn't prepared when the 
day came... 

Brian stopped me in the hall. He was so cute the 
way he looked nervous and shifted his stance and played 
with his glasses when he talked to me. He told me that 
he had won the scholarship that he had applied for. 

"A twelve-thousand dollar scholarship?" I gaped. 

He smiled with pride. "Yep! I'm going to an 
orientation in July and leaving in August for good." 

Leaving. Going going gone. This college that he 
had won such a prestigious and impressive scholarship 
to was on the East Coast. This college was far faaaar 
away from Marquette and his home and the incredible 
Chicago art galleries that we had spent hours in.. .and 
me. I didn't think that we had some passionate love 
affair blossoming or anything as flamboyant as all that, 
but I enjoyed cutting down Cezanne and Picasso with 
him. I felt liberated from slapstick when he shone his 
dry humor my way, and I liked him. 

It was some obscure time between that day in the 
orange hallway at school and when we stood admiring 
Warhol that both of our attitudes must have changed 
drastically. We didn't talk as much. Maybe if we knew 
less about each other, it would hurt less when he left. 
Our humor turned into serious discussion about school 
and the future and how he WANTED to go away, but he 
also wanted to stay. He told me more than twice that he 
would like to go to our junior college for one more year 
to take art courses.. .not stuffy business courses. I 
wanted him to stay another year too, but never told him. 
From my lips he heard about how exciting this new 
school would be, and how lucky he was that he was 
going exactly where he had wanted to go, and that he 



was going to go far in life. Far. Far away. 

We left the Warhol exhibit and wandered through 
every other room that the Art Institute had to show. We 
sat on benches next to each other and laughed at how we 
disagreed on EVERY piece of artwork we talked about. 
Somehow, the whole time we laughed and talked, I knew 
that this was the end. things were too different between 
us to ever work out. He was too mature for his age, and 
I was too immature for mine. Yet his pensiveness 
fascinated me--and I studied him with the serenity of a 
child watching a pinwheel spin. My adolescent humor 
intrigued him and he listened to my thoughts with 
genuine interest, but the fascination and intrigue 
whispered empty promises to each of us. His East 
Coast scholarship waited, as did my rowdy friends at the 
junior college where Brian and I had met. 

I told myself that we really had nothing in common. 
Infatuation with a stranger had been so much more fun. 
I never saw or spoke to the mysterious Brian after that 
sunny day we spent in the art museum. Fall semester 
started soon after that, and I went back to my reality as 
he jetted off to his. I sat in rhetoric classes and read 
school papers that were filled with poetry and prose. 
Among the names listed on the credit page was Brian's. 
I tore to his poems and found them full of melancholy 
messages of leaving home and everything familiar 
behind. I never knew that he wrote poetry. Sure, he 
painted abstract paintings full of earth tones and listened 
to The Cure and 'The Graduate" was his favorite movie 
and blue was his favorite color. He hated Lima beans 
(doesn't everyone?) and he worked for his father, and he 
was Protestant, and a Pisces, and he watched soap 
operas... but did I ever really know him? 

I laugh at myself now for thinking that I knew so 
much about Brian when my knowledge was so shallow. 
I wonder what he had been thinking when he held my 
hand beneath Gustave Caillebotte's "Place de l'Europe 
on a Rainy Day," a cityscape done at the turn of the 
century-a twenty-foot tall oil painting that gave moody 
depth to a rainy day in the city-where strangers walked 
past each other on the street, and everyone hid beneath 
umbrellas-to escape the bleak drizzle.. .and to protect 
their own anonymity. 

U.itXX X.X.I.I 



-20- 



Norma Dodge 
A LOVE STORY 

My husband, when you look at me so dully, with 
eyes that were once so brightly blue, my heart breaks 
anew over the tragedy that has befallen us. 

You were so happy, so active, so full of life, and so 
full of pleasure in that life, and now you are so helpless, 
and what is worse, unable to communicate to me in any 
way. Sometimes I feel that there is a spark of 
recognition in your eyes, or an answering pressure when 
I hold your hands in mine, but the doctors tell me I must 
not hope-they cannot tell me not to pray. 

Our children have shown such strength and support. 
Debbi stays with us and helps me with your care, and 
Allison comes over as often as she can. Our son, who 
is stationed so far away, has been home to visit you. 
Though you do not know that he was here, I was 
strengthened by his love and deep concern for us. 

Our two teen-aged grandsons came to see you, 
though they feel uncertain and uncomfortable, they find 
it hard to realize how ill you are until they see you. 
Though they are so "grown up," they wipe away tears as 
they leave your bedside. 

Allison's five-year-old son, your "little Lukey," asks 
when Grandpa will be well, "so he will know me again." 

Steven and Leslie, who, at the age of three, do not 
understand illness, peek in and ask when Grandpa is 
going to wake up. Baby Meghan gives you a butterfly 
kiss, and gently pats your cheek. She will be taught to 
say, "I love you, Grandpa," even though you will never 
hear or understand her. 

Oh, my dear, when I lie sleepless at night, crying for 
the husband I once knew, I know that the tears that fall 
so freely are not tears of self-pity, but tears of grief for 
the strong, handsome, laughing man who is hidden 
forever behind that uncomprehending gaze with which 
your eyes meet mine. 

I pray anew for the strength to see me through to 
what can only be a tragic ending to the many years of 
love we shared. 

nxyy xit) 

Rich Goberville 

WHY I WRITE ABOUT LOVE 

I was told by some to write about something other 
than love. That just reminded me of something. I 
remember when I was little (maybe twelve) and my 



dream was to become a song writer. When I listened to 
songs on the radio, they all seemed to be about love, and 
I didn't understand why. I told myself I would 
revolutionize all of that. If I ever had out an album of 
my own, there would be no love songs on it. I would 
have every other imaginable subject, but no love songs. 

But that was before I actually fell in love. Sure, I 
loved my parents and other relatives, but I mean the kind 
of love where you want to spend your whole life 
together. Since than, it seems to control every ounce of 
my soul, every beat of my existence. I guess that's 
what the teenage years are all about, trying to find out 
what love really is (and maybe writing some stupid 
sounding poems because you're not really sure yet). 

But to me, writing is a type of therapy. Not to say 
that I'm just writing a journal. I try to write my poems 
so that others can relate to them and, hopefully, enjoy 
them. But mosdy, it's a learning process for me. Until 
I find out what love really means, I don't think I will be 
able to stop writing about it. Sometimes I really try to 
write something light-hearted, but it always seems to 
end up on a serious note. I can try to write more "non- 
love" poems or stories, but I don't think I can totally 
stop writing love poems, because they are the ones with 
the most meaning to me. 

caxxxxja 



Rich Goberville 

SECURITY 

I observe the world 

through my bedroom window 

enclosed in a separate world 

one that I say I like to be in 

I can see rainbows from here 

without having to be in the rain 

I can see love from here 

without actually tasting the pain 

and in the bitter cold of winter 

I sit warmed by my heater 

and in the withering heat of summer 

I sit cooled by my fan 

yes, I have everything 

enclosed in my private space 

everything I need 

will someone get me out of here? 

axrxnu 



-21- 



Sherry Gunderman 

THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY 

The wind 

courted the leather-brown leaves, 

and asked them to dance. 

And the leaves accepted. 

I watched the giggling leaves from my first-floor 

window 
as they skipped away down the wet 
night street- 

they were entranced by the wind, 
and ignored my presence. 

I put my hand to the glass 

as if to stop them 

from leaving 

and left fingerprints on the window. 

Nostalgia settled 

and my heart wept in agony. 

Halloween. 

Happy Happy Halloween. 

My favorite holiday. 

Three years since our eyes first met. 

One year since I last heard your voice. 

Three years since I became 
unexplainably happy. 
Three years since 
the curtain of impending pain 
was lowered over my happiness 
like a gauzy shear. 

Three years of the happiest. 
Three years of the saddest- 
because you left me 
on a sunny day 
to begin a new life. 
And your empty air 
could not be filled by another. 
Happy Halloween. 

Three anniversary. 
I watched the dead leaves 
somersault in the air 
and called out to them- 
not to go... 

Because no other leaves 
would ever be as beautiful. 

nn mm 



Melynda Findlay 
A NEW CAR 

It was the summer of 1987 and suddenly there were 
four drivers in my family—well, sort of. Of course my 
mom, my dad, and I drove. My brother was trying to. 
After twelve ones, he finally had his license-but needless 
to say, my parents were hesitant about letting him take 
the car. So, with three regular drivers and only two cars, 
transportation was always a problem. We had this 
horrible electric blue station wagon and a Nova. I drove 
the Nova most of the time, which I didn't mind. It 
wasn't too bad. The station wagon was another story, 
however. Its only redeeming quality was that it didn't 
have wood on the sides. It has this putrid color of 
electric blue (METALLIC electric blue) and it had no 
radio. Even an AM radio that only picked up country- 
western stations would have been noise at least. Then 
came the fateful day that my parents decided it was time 
to buy a new car. I was excited at first; I though my 
family would finally get a nice four-door luxury car like 
every other family in America. But NO! Our family 
has never had a normal car. Besides the "electric blue" 
(as we fondly refer to the wagon) and the Nova, we've 
had two Vegas, a big rusty white station wagon, and a 
Maverick. Well, God forbid my parents should break 
their dorky trend buying embarrassing cars. 

"We're buying a Ford Aerostar!" my dad announced 
proudly. (Oh, as if that's something to brag about.) An 
oversized loaf of bread that looks like some sort of 
demented insect. 

"It'd be a lot cheaper to get a Buick Regal, Dad," I 
replied attempting to appeal to his sense of frugality. 

"Not really. Just think, we could bring Duffy with 
us when we go to Sharon and George's this summer," 
my mom gushed. 

Oh, super. "Just take me to hell now, Lord," I 
mumbled. Sharon and George's? A mini-van? Take the 
dog on vacation? Yes, hell would be a holiday compared 
to this vacation. Sharon and George are my parents' 
friends. They live in a resort town in northern 
Wisconsin. I HATE them for two reasons: 1) they are 
always trying to fix me up with their dweebo son, 
David, and; 2) they won't let me take showers, they 
expect me to bathe in their lake, with the fish! I just 
don't think so! And bring our dog Duffy along? Oh 
that would be a joy. Duffy weighs about 90 pounds, is 
a little too friendly, and has the worst dog breath /' ve 
ever experienced. Yes, I'd be spending this summer in 
Purgatory. Anyway, back to the New mini-van. Mom 

(continued) 



-22- 



A New Car, continued 

and Dad took Marc and I to the car lot in Naperville to 
see it. "Keep an open mind," I kept telling myself. 

Well, it wasn't that bad. Actually it was that bad, 
but one important feature made the embarrassment seem 
worthwhile-AM/FM cassette with separate tuners and 
headphone jacks in the back seats! 

"So what do you think?" dad asked. 

"I'm likin' the radio," I replied. 

I guess the car was almost cool with the radio, so my 
parents found another van that they liked "better." 
Figures. This one only had an AM radio-but it had one 
feature that no "dorky" car can be without-a car top 
carrier. My dad sacrificed a real radio for a car top carrier. 
Did the embarrassment never cease? 

Well, in closing, I must admit I actually don't mind 
traveling in the "Wonder Bread Van!" I can't say whether 
I like driving it—the folks won't let me touch it. Well, I 
guess that's okay. It's touch to see with a grocery bag 
over your head. 

nxxnnm 

David L. Sullivan, Jr. 

SOWETO ROAD: A STORY OF THE 
AMERICAN NEAR-FUTURE 

(After the Great Civil Conflict, circa 2017) 

The blood mingles with the sand of the dusty road as 
the sand particles ride atop the puddles themselves like 
crude oil rising in stagnant colored water. The potholes 
begin to fill with the stuff as a stench more foul than 
that produced by skunks stabs at my nostrils, making 
me choke back bitter bile. Soon the wagons would 
come to collect the tortured and dead bodies of the day's 
'catch.' 

There is a small young Negro girl, seven, screaming 
her head off with eternal force, her small body 
convulsing on the old street corner, the face twisted in 
rage and grief. I gaze at her tear-stained face, caked with 
dust brought by the warm breeze of the early afternoon. 
Lord God in Heaven Above, I growl to myself in 
thought. How should any creature, especially as young 
and precious as this mere baby, this innocent human 
being, be subjected to such blindness and carnage as 
this ? The thought perplexed me with increasing 
intensity as I continued to study the child, who had 
fallen unsteadily on her knees before her dead mother, her 
body riddled with bruises, in some places the flesh 
grotesquely torn to reveal tender pink flesh oozing 



brilliant crimson red blood down onto the street below. 
Swallowing my bile, I turn away and change direction. 

Continuing my slow plod, I came upon a Negro 
youngster of good height and excellent build being 
brutally forced out of a rotting shack by six white and 
two black officers wearing full riot gear. Frowning in 
disgust, I clenched my teeth in silent rage as they 
pummeled the boy with bone-crushing blows. Deep 
pink and red bruises began to take appearance in various 
places along the boy's upper torso. Soon, the pain had 
become too unbearable, so the youngster viciously 
twisted and broke away from the mob, racing at 
astonishing speed toward the village's old mill. 

Acting quickly, one of the white officers, a brutish, 
hulking mass of flesh with the obvious name of 
Crusher, snatched out his standard issue revolver and 
began blasting away at the boy as shouts of pain and 
horror reared from every face that was not police, 
whether white or black. In a few moments it was over 
as abruptly as it had started, for one of the projectiles 
scored a direct hit on the boy's skull, spewing blood, 
bone, and brain into the air as the body twitched 
nervously before collapsing to the ground. Another 
'catch,' another paycheck. To them, it was one more 
step toward material satisfaction. Suddenly I felt a warm 
pressure along my right jaw followed by a gooey, 
oozing wetness. I looked to my right and then, quite 
astonishingly, down. 

It was a small Negro boy, much like the one who 
had just gotten killed but much less refined, physically 
and psychologically. I could tell that the child's actual 
age was about thirteen or fourteen, but from the hard 
lines coursing around his eyes further complimented by 
caked dust gave him the look of forty. He was 
screaming curses at me in his native tongue, but the 
words were more like well-honed spears striking into my 
heart, driving me toward the pit of extinction. I was 
petrified during this time, unable to move a single 
muscle as the child started striking me in the side. A 
few moments later, I snapped back into alertness and, 
quite accidentally, pushed the child into the ground hard, 
whereas I had meant only to cast him aside; his head 
struck the crude pavement on the curb. 

Carefully wiping the warm ooze off my cheek, I 
glanced at the boy numb with confusion as he leaped off 
the curb, lips swollen and bloody, and he began to his 
refutation again, this time around with a violent 
intensity that rivaled God's own wrath. I turned away 
and plodded on in shame, vaguely expecting him to 
follow. Instead, he did not, choosing to remain to stand 
his ground upon the dusty street itself while his words 

(continued) 



-23- 



Soweto Road, continued 

struck with greater tenacity, with far better results than 
mere physical aggression. My God, why in the hell do I 
have to be a part of this, I berated myself again in 
thought. Why did I have to be the ringleader of this 
sickening mass of ruthless, cold-blooded killers? 
Why?!? 

I glanced across the street, taking notice of an aging 
Negro woman in her early seventies clutching the 
rumpled, bloodied form of her half -dead, middle-aged son, 
half of whose face had been riddled by gunfire. I stopped 
again for a moment, watching the old woman's family 
members, including the man's children and his wife, 
whose stony-faced expression told of an iceberg that was 
ripe for cracking at the slightest instance, gather to her 
sides, clenching to each other and wailing out in pain as 
they grasped her and her fallen child. If my bills hadn't 
been so damned high, I would have most gladly accepted 
that early resignation. 

Behind me, the roar of a seasoned white police 
veteran caught my attention as he began to scream at the 
family in brutish disgust. Distressed, I faced about and 
glared almost without expression into that mask of utter 
repulsion. Was that supposed to be a representative of 
justice, the sworn upholder of law and respect for all 
mankind? Like hell. He grunted his acknowledgment 
and passed me, stabbing his long black nightstick into 
the air at the family as he brandished his standard issue 
sidearm (regulations can be so disgusting') , screaming to 
them that if they didn't break up and go separate ways 
within a matter of seconds, serious consequences would 
result. 

Taking it as extreme offense, and that it was, a 
young Negro woman, eyes bulging wildly in rage, 
charged from the group despite frightened, staunch 
protests, and raced toward the officer, who smartly 
cracked her skull with his 'stick once she was in 
immediate reach. Tonight my dreams would, again, give 
me only another good hour's rest. 

Screaming out in horror as a small number of their 
group had risen to escort the old woman, the other 
family members promptly rushed to the dying girl, 
cowering like simpering pups before the angry glare of 
the constable, who shook them back with a single wave 
of the nightstick. Looking back at the elder, she was 
putting up a delightful struggle (if the word "delightful" 
applied) in wanting to gather up her son's remains before 
the wagons collected him and numerous other dead and 
half-dead and dumped them off somehwere in some 
godforsaken ditch of dry sand a few short miles away 



from the village itself. The bile began to sting my 
throat again, like pungent acid in my esophagus. So 
much has happened here. ..so much to bear . 

I managed to cross the intersection onto the next 
block, waving down a small squad car in the distance. A 
sigh, quivering me with helpless rage, escaped my lungs 
as my eyes glanced upon a blue corner post sign: 300 
N. SOWETO ROAD, in bold letters. As the squad car 
pulled up, I could hear the wail of the wagons' sirens 
overcome the bitter screams of both law officers and the 
grieving native Negroes alike as I repressed angry tears. 
I felt a bitter hatred toward my own people, the English 
rejects who came over to this land and stole, through the 
Bible , from these poor, suffering hags and deemed them 
an 'inferior' lot, not to be ever associated with their 
'greatness'. Sliding into the car, I muttered a silent 
prayer, taking one last, stressful look upon the 
struggling native Negroes. Dear God, I thought you 
made this world for afi its children, for them to work 
together... 

axaxm 

Kim Vollmer 

CALIFORNIA 

We were eleven that day. I remember her broad smile 
and her too-skinny eleven-year-old legs stretched out and 
down the steps of the porch. I just stood there before her 
with my moccasin boots swinging softly under the grip 
of my right hand. My heart beating in the pit of my 
stomach and my throat squeezing back and in the tiny 
cries. My eyes were dry, hers were wet. I didn't know 
what California was, or what it meant. I remember 
wanting to ask her as I dropped the boots on the porch. 
I didn't She pulled the boots on over her tan feet. She 
stood up in those boots and tried to stop her own tears; 
she kept rubbing her eyes, and she kept crying. And I 
just stood there. "You'll come visit us in California," 
her mom assured me, assured us. "Yes," I had said. But 
even then I knew I'd never see those boots again 

cnxn xn 



-24- 



Nels Nelson 

COLOMBIA 

Another war? 

A war on drugs. 

What did they ever do? 

No, a war on drug lords. 

Oh Lord, who art in coca, 

Pontius Bush is after you. 

Silly George, 

He just wanis the beach-front real estate, 

Gonna open a new Club Med. 

Our majestic President is so awfully busy. 

Hello, USA, mind your own business for a while. 

Not another good war, okay? 

What makes a war good? 

Are there party streamers, danceable music, 

Free beer and chips? 

Are the people killed neatly? 

"He died so politely." 

"Excuse me, may I shoot out your entrails?" 

"Isn't this a good war?" 

Hitler thought his war to be a good one. 

I don't, nor is any. 

I am twenty years old. 

1 I X X I X X I ) 

Kim Vollmer 

CAPTAIN AMERICA SHOES 

Time: Middle of the night 
Location: All-night diner 

Four junior college students sitting in a booth, two boys 
and two girls. The two boys are facing each other at the 
front of the stage so only a profile view is seen. The 
two girls are beyond the boys yet they can still be seen 
by the audience. 

Actors: 

Long Haired Girl - girlfriend of and sitting beside the 

short haired boy 
Short Haired Girl - girlfriend of and sitting beside the 

long haired boy 
Long Haired Boy -boyfriend of and sitting beside the 

short haired girl 
Short Haired Boy -boyfriend of and sitting beside the 

long haired girl 
Bald Waiter (but very feminine) 



-25- 



Stage lights up, all four are quiet and still... 

Short Haired Girl: I'm writing a play for my creative 

writing class at the junior college. 
All eyes are upon the short haired girl. 
Short Haired Girl: I'm going to write down whatever we 

say. 
All are silent— long haired boy lights a cigarette, 

smokes continuously throughout play. 
Short Haired Girl: To Short Haired Bov. Talk! 
Short Haired Boy: Shoves a mouthful of French toast 

in his mouth. I'm eating 
Long Haired Girl: I'll talk. 
Short Haired Girl: I'm only writing down the good 

stuff. 
Long Haired Girl: Then you're not going to portray me 

as I really am. 
All laugh, Long Haired Girl frowns. 
Short Haired Bov: Consoling his date. Oh, come on. 

Sometimes you say good stuff. 
Long Haired Girl: I don't want to have any part of this. 
Enter waiter to end of booth at back of stage. 
Bald Waiter High-pitched woman's voice. More coffee? 
Four actors in unison: No! 
Long Haired Boy looks up at the ceiling for what 
seems like a long time. Others then look up also. 
Then they look back at one another. Long Haired Boy 
remains with his eyes looking at the ceiling. 
Short Haired Boy: Motions to his date. We have 

roaches in our apartment. 
Long haired Girl: Looking at Short Haired Boy. Honey, 

don't tell. 
Short iHaired Bov: Ignores her plea. We're charging 

them rent. And do you know what the roaches 

say.. begins to laugh uncontrollably, tears come 

from his eyes. Long Haired Boy looks 

down from the ceiling now. Short Haired Boy tries 

to speak...They say. .Laugh. They say. ..Cough. 

The girls look at him waiting for his answer. 
Short Haired Bov: They say. ..Uses a deeper voice. 

Sorry, man, we don't carry cash. 
Both boys laugh hysterically. Both girls shake their 
heads in disgust. 

Short Haired Bov: To girls. He Motions to Long Haired 
Boy and I are looking at each other and thinking to 
ourselves. 

Both boys laugh again. Both girls look confused. 
Long Haired Bov: It's getting silly. 
Bald Waiter enters. 
Bald Waiter: More coffee? 
Four in unison: No! 
Bald Waiter walks off swaying his hips. 
Short Haired Bov: Don't you love playlands? 

(continued) 



Captain America Shoes, continued 



Long Haired Girl: Confused tone. You mean like at 

Burger King? 
Short Haired Bov: Or Showbiz.. .or... 
Short Haired Girl: Motions to Long Haired Boy. He 

used to work at Showbiz! 
Short Haired Bov: Astonished. Did you? 
Long Haired Boy nods in agreement. 
Short Haired Girl: Yes he did, and he wore these 

"Captain America Shoes." 
Long Haired Girl: Really? 
Long Haired Bov: Admits almost proudly. Kids used to 

throw up on them. 
Both boys laugh. 
Short Haired Bov: I love those balls that they get to 

jump into. 
Long Haired Bov: Yeah, kids would throw up in there 

too. 
Short Haired Bov: Disappointed. Ooooutt! 
Long Haired Boy: They'd pee in there too, and we have 

to hose them all down-not the kids, the balls. Real 

bummers. 
Short Haired Boy: Enthusiastic again. If you took one 
ball every time you went tiieie..£ooks up. Appears to 
be calculating in his head. After 500 times you'd have 
own playland. 

Both boys overjoyed and grinning at each other. 
Long Haired Bov: Yea! 
Short Haired Bov: Yea! 

Long Haired Girl: To Short Haired Girl. Fool Bonding! 
Short. Haired Girl: Can't a girl get a cup of coffee in 
this joint? 
Other three in unison: No! 

aran nxa 

ShondaTalerico 

THE CHINA DOLL 

The Big People clung 

To the China doll 

Hid her away 

Protected from the outside world 

She grew up knowing nothing 
But fairy tales and ice cream castles 
Books and dreams were companions 
For this lonely doll 



Sometimes the Big People would play with her 
And brush her dark hair 
But oftentimes she would sit 
And face the playroom wall 

She was taught to please the Big People 
So the beautiful mannequin did as she was told 
Never ruffling her skirts 
Or mussing her fine tresses 

But it wasn't enough for the Big People 

Who demanded more from the perfect marionette 

Time passed for the China doll 
She was hungry for more 
Than dancing fairies 
And sugar-coated dreams 

Turning to the window 

Where no fairies danced 

She hopped down from the shelf on delicate feet 

Drew sweet breath into her colorless face 

She frolicked among 
The shiny train sets 
Plastic army men 
And Matchbox cars 

Time passed for the China doll 
Who had tasted life's sweet treasures 
But she became lonely 
And longed for the Big People 

Her curiosity satisfied, she returned 

Her dark locks and creamy face 

Kissed by the sunlight 

Her lacy gown embraced by summer breezes 

But the Big People didn't recognize 
Or maybe they didn't see 
Her shelf was cleaned 
And occupied by a new toy 

t x i x mn 



-26- 



3DUET 
C0Ll£6| 




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